Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Seen At The Market: Persimmons

Like figs and pomegranates, I think persimmons are some of the most exotic fruits around. I think any unique type of food has a distinctive color, such as lavender. The persimmon has a brilliant color that's only comparable to itself. This Japanese import is also one of the more difficult to cook with. Mostly because it's all about timing in terms of whether you want to bite into it or not. Last year I made a chicken salad using persimmons that was quite fun to eat.

I saw these boxes of persimmons recently at the downtown Berkeley farmers market. You'll see more and more persimmons in the next few weeks. It's a real fall and winter fruit. The top version is the fuyu, which looks like a tomato and should be eaten crunchy like an apple. The version below is my favorite for its shape and color. It's the hachiya and should be eaten soft like the tender figs. This is also the version people like to cook down to a jam or pudding. If you don't venture into eating them, persimmons are great food models if you're into food photography like me!

2 comments:

Mrs. L said...

My Grandmother makes some wonderful persimmon cookies from her tree. Love them. Really soft cookies.
I also remember dogsitting when I was younger for a family that had a persimmon tree in their back yard...orange dog poop...not my favorite job!

Chef Ben said...

Hmm, persimmon cookies sound good. I might check the Internet for a recipe. But then again, I don't usually do baked goods!

Your dog poop comment reminded me of our three mango trees growing up in Hawaii. If we didn't pick them they'd drop and get all squishy in our lawn. Talk about yellow smush under your slippers!