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Hachiya soft-ripe persimmons
January 8, 2010, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Cook, Eat | Tags: , , ,

When I was younger, my mom used to get persimmons, or gam in Korean, from the Asian grocery in the winter. It was always a treat because they were expensive, and we only had them maybe once a year. I never took to the hard fuyu persimmon variety; I always preferred the pulpy, almost jelly-like texture of the hachiya persimmon. I would wait impatiently for days until the skin of the persimmon would finally give in, yield, to the poke of my always prodding fingers like a loosely-filled water balloon. Mom would cut off the top, hand us a spoon, and we’d eat the fiery sweet flesh directly out of the fruit like pudding, taking care not to puncture the soft red-orange skin, scraping our spoons against the sides to get every last bit.

I’ve noticed hachiya persimmons popping up at local markets in Manhattan, and while I rarely pay $1.50 for one piece of fruit, the childhood memories evoked a longing for the hachiya that I couldn’t shake. I bought three, and today I ate my first soft-ripe persimmon after many many years. It was bliss.

To make an easy persimmon sorbet, you can freeze the whole fruit and let it defrost a bit in the fridge. Peel back the skin from the tip, and spoon out the flesh. Tony Tantillo suggests that you add a few drops of rum, bourbon, or brandy, all of which go well in persimmon preparations, or use seasonings such as ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, ground coriander and cinnamon. Persimmons, are a fall/winter fruit, so nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts go well with them, as do dried fruits such as raisins and prunes. Orange juice, orange liqueurs, and brown sugar also match up nicely with persimmons.

According to Wikipedia, the persimmon is used (in large quantities) to relieve constipation and induce diarrhea, as well as to treat diarrhea and dysentery. The osmotic effect of the raw fruit sugar can help ease the passage of waste while the high tannin content of the cooked fruit can help stop things up. What a nice little party trick!

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1 Comment so far
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I always wondered what these things were! Now that I know they are a delicious fruit that pairs well with rum, I feel the need to head to global markets and investigate for myself! College winter days=peppermint schnapps hot cocoa. Post Grad winter days=rum infused exotic persimmons. done.

Comment by Marie




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