Thursday, February 02, 2006

Persimmon Notes

Yuriko brought home a box of persimmons the other day. Been a while since we’d had any, and it occurred to me that persimmons haven't (yet) traveled to mainstream tables of North America. The Japanese call the fruit kaki, and this variety are fuyu, native to Japan. They’re firm and orange on the outside, looking something like small tomatoes, but sweet and not so squishy on the inside. A delightful fruit.

I wondered where, in winter, fuyu kaki would come from, and the answer was no further than the box. Turns out we’d acquired some Sharon persimmons, product of Israel. At first I thought that was a brand name, but the brand is Mor International. Sharon persimmons, it seems, are Japanese persimmons--fuyu kaki--that immigrated to Israel.

From, of all places, the food glossary on Hormel’s web site:

Sharon Fruit

A seedless variety of the fuyu persimmon that was first grown in Israel and now is being raised throughout the world. Persimmons are very similar to a tomato, requiring that they ripen to become less firm, more pulpy and soft. Further, the persimmon can taste very sour especially when not ripe, and the skin is inedable. The Sharon fruit, unlike the Hachiya persimmon, can be eaten while firm, the outer skin does not need to be peeled and discarded, there are no seeds in the crisp flesh, and it is less astringent or sour tasting than the Hachiya.



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