Friday Flora & Fresh Air

Fuyu Persimmons 2Prior to living in northern California, I’d never tasted a persimmon. 

Hachiya Persimmon with leavesSix years later, it simply doesn’t feel like autumn, much less Thanksgiving or Christmas, without them.

Hachiya Persimmon branches 1

Hachiya Persimmons 5Most of the neighborhoods around here, at least those with older homes, have one or two trees like this on almost every street. It makes for a beautiful landscape, though somewhat surreal if, like me, you didn’t grow up in this climate.

Hachiya Persimmons with leaves 1Hachiya Persimmon TreeThe first time I saw a persimmon tree, branches dripping with bright orange fruit, I was dumbfounded. I’d never seen anything like it. Soon afterwards, a friend happily shared her bounty and more importantly, some persimmon eating wisdom …

Fuyu Persimmons 1

Fuyu persimmons – the squat looking ones in the image above – are best enjoyed while they’re hard and crisp, often peeled, cut up and served in an autumnal fruit salad.

Hachiya Persimmons 2

Conversely, Hachiya persimmons – the more heart shaped variety – aren’t ready to eat until they’re fully ripe, in which case they’ll feel soft like a water balloon. Odd as it may seem, the jelly-like pulp is delicious. I love it spooned over yogurt, mixed into vanilla ice cream and added to baked goods like James Beard’s Persimmon Bread. Moreover, the pulp freezes beautifully (you can even freeze whole fruit), which is what I’m doing at this very moment, so this Christmas I can make First Lady Nancy Reagan’s decadent Steamed Persimmon Pudding with Brandy Whipped Cream Sauce. I can hardly wait!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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One thought on “Friday Flora & Fresh Air

  1. Great photos–I’ve got persimmon tree envy. But no chance of growing one in the Northeast. Guess I’ll just have to go to the supermarket and try out that recipe. Thanks!

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