A Love Letter to Persimmons

Posted on November 12, 2014 within Produce

Carlos, our Produce Supervisor, has a thing for persimmons. He really really loves them, so we asked him to explain why they're so wonderful. He penned a love letter to this scrumptious fruit.

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My Dearest Persimmon,

When I first saw you, I was mystified. Your exterior had me fooled. I assumed you were some Frankenstein fruit, a sort of tomato/mango/orange hybrid. But then there was that first bite. Like whoa, I mean wow.  That initial flavor sensation, it’s a thousand different fresh fruit flavors. There was something in you that I yearned for. That vitamin filled pulp and soft rind.

I soon found myself obsessed. Not many people here in America know about you. Though I fear I may not be your only secret admirer. In fact, I know I’m not.

You are national fruit of Japan, revered for your beauty. Originally from China and throughout the centuries, various species were developed. You were traded from Asia to the Middle East and around the world. The first Asian persimmons were brought back to Washington, D.C. by the officer Commodore Perry way back in 1854. Soon after, they were growing in the central valley farm fields of California. But there are Native American persimmon varieties as well.  Native people offered dried persimmons to the first European colonies in what is today Virginia. Only the female trees are capable of  bearing the orange fruit. Persimmons come in two varieties: Hachiya  are orange-red and shaped like acorns, and Fuyu, which sort of look like yellow-orange Roma tomatoes. The Hachiyas are bitter and when they're not ripe.  Best enjoyed when they are a little past ripe, they have a soft, jelly-like texture. Fuyu persimmons are a bit firmer to the touch like an apple when ripe and can be cut into slices. This fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants and chock-full of vitamins. One persimmon has half your recommended Vitamin A daily intake and almost 25 percent of your recommended Vitamin C, plus they give you a dose of fiber.

Persimmon, my now not very secret love, you are but a brief annual affair that lasts from Halloween until Christmas time. Once the winter has passed, so have you. While you are here for these few months, I hope others realize the joy that I have come to know by knowing you.

With all my love,

Carlos

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