Ode to the Persimmon
First, a haiku:
Gentle against my taste buds
Drowning in each bite
On Friday a colleague told me it was persimmon season. Per-what-ah? Persimmons, she said. They look like tomatoes, but they are orange and sweet. She went on to tell me that there are two kinds – the soft kind you eat with a spoon or the firm kind that you eat like an apple. Sounds interesting, I thought, and I put them on my list for the market.
On Saturday morning during my normal weekly visit to the Gleadell Street Market, I looked for the persimmons. My colleague was definitely right about them being in season – an entire box was only $5! I chose to buy three of the firm kind – mushy just didn’t sound good to me.
After dinner on Saturday night I felt the need for something sweet – and I was a little curious about my persimmons. So I cut the dried leaves from the top of one of the fruits and sliced it into four sections. I took a bite. Nothing could have prepared me for the texture and flavor of the persimmon. It was firm, but delicate; the midpoint between the consistency of an apple and a tomato. It was neither juicy nor dry. A soft sweetness emanated from the fruit. The taste didn’t explode in my mouth; rather it sunk slowly into my tongue, taking several seconds before my brain registered the complete flavor.
I have tasted fruit heroin. I went to the supermarket yesterday and bought three more. I am waiting until after dinner to savor my persimmon and am looking forward to it more than I would most desserts (my mom’s chocolate sad cake excepted). Do persimmons exist in the United States? Someone please tell me yes! If not, I’ll just have to eat one every day while I’m in Australia!