Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Goodness, Dear, What Large Berries You Have!

Diospyros sp. is the persimmon.  In the fall of the year the orange and round and seductively smooth skinned Japanese versions hit the supermarkets.  Most people do not know what these are, so I am surprised that they sell at all.  There are many varieties of this fruit.  There is a native American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) that is high in nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium.  Tradition says that Americans cooked them in a pudding.  There are two kinds of persimmon, those that are astringent before ripening and those that are not.  Ours is the astringent version, and if you try to eat this fruit before it gets so soft you might think it has spoiled, it will make your mouth pucker tighter than a snare drum head.



This year, after a three year wait, we got our first real harvest.  But we did not wait until they fell to the ground, which is how you are supposed to harvest them.  We waited until they just started to get soft on the branch and then picked them off the tree to get them inside before the raccoons discovered this golden bounty.  They took a full week to ripen inside and we checked them each and every day.  I think that persimmons should be labeled the fruit of patience.  Their texture is custardy like an overripe plum and their flavor is sweet and gentle.

Even more, the tree itself is a shining example of a fall ornamental and turns lovely shades of autumn and is one of my favorite decorative elements in the yard this time of year.  Just look as these leaf photos I have taken the last two weeks.  Oh, and regarding the title, botanically it IS a berry!

Below in the first photo it is competing with the wild maple on the right.

 Then as the days shorten and cool it begins to put on quite a show of colors and textures!










12 comments:

Brian Miller said...

ah it is putting on quite a show...you know i could not tell you what a persimon tastes like...

Valerie said...

Lovely Fall pictures. The way you describe the persimmon makes me wish I could try one.

Pauline said...

I've never eaten a persimmon but I'd like a tree just for its autumn splendor!

Bob Bushell said...

Oh, the wait of persimmons, let us to them, they are superb.

messymimi said...

Love persimmons -- and they don't grow here that i know of, so i've never seen the beauty of the tree in autumn.

Red said...

I've never had any experience with persimmons. They sound good . The leaves are certainly brilliant. It's neat the way you show all the insect damage and the water drops on the leaves.

ellen abbott said...

A friend of mine had a persimmon tree in her yard and the ones she shared with me were the first ones I had ever eaten. I like them with ice cream. My neighbor here has two Texas native persimmon trees and the fruit is very small. He would bring me baskets of them.

Kay said...

We are huge fans of the fuyu persimmons. They are super sweet and we don't even think about the vitamins we're getting. My sister-in-law in California says they have a bumper crop this year. GREAT falls photos! The colors are spectacular.

Linda Reeder said...

I don't think I have ever tasted persimmons.
Lovely leaf photos!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"I think that persimmons should be labeled the fruit of patience"

Yes, describe what they taste like. How do you eat them? Love the title of this piece - and I want your camera.

Granny Annie said...

My first taste of a persimmon was too early and almost caused me to never try another. My mouth did " pucker tighter than a snare drum head." However my mother encouraged me to try them again once they fell to the ground and I could not believe it was the same fruit. Yummy!

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Persimmons -- you make them sound rather exotic and sweet to taste. Never had them. Earthy color of leaves would be enough for many to plant the tree but just think one will also get the pleasure of a rather beautiful fruit. -- barbara