Tuesday, July 8, 2014
The Undiscovered Forbidden Fruit: the Fantastic Fuyu Persimmon
The Undiscovered Forbidden Fruit: the Fantastic Fuyu Persimmon Lex Loeb Contributor Network . Traveling to tropical countries one quickly realizes how limited the number of types of fruit are that one normally finds in an ordinary American super market. There is a much larger array of types of fruits available in tropical areas that are rarely consumed in the US. Because fruit is seasonal and because there are several growing seasons in the tropics tourists arrive one part of the year in an exotic tropical location and only get introduced to some of the fruits that are available each year. If you get tired of the season fall fruits and sick of 100 varieties of apples and pears, an occasional quince and the limited local fall fare of American food markets you should be looking for Fuyu Persimmons. The Fuyu persimmon is a flattened orange pumpkin looking fruit that is available in many American stores and farmers markets but just not very popular. Big crops are being grown across the country. Buyers are relatively rare. I know because I grow them. The trees are unique as fruiting members of the Ebony family. There are native American persimmons that are more oblong in shape and have a bad reputation because of the acerbic or astringent taste that can make one's lips pucker. I grow those too but am really fond of the Fuyu variety. The Fuyu is I think the Japanese name for the variety but its origin is from China. It grows from Florida to Washington State as it is a hardy tree well adapted to a variety of climates. The fruit appears late in the season and can cling to the branches of the trees after the deciduous leaves have all fallen off making them look like ornamental deciduous Christmas trees with bright pink orange pumpkin like ornamental "apples" Trees like mine get harvested when the fruit is still relatively green, When the fruit turns orange it can be ready to eat if you like the fruit crisp. A lot of persimmon lovers like to wait till the fruit turns to a mush consistency, I do not like them at all when they get too ripe. They are perfect hard with a slight taste, Some customers definitely prefer the fruit to be soft and over ripe and I am happy they will still buy the fruit I would otherwise throw away. I think that is the secret of the fuyu persimmon is knowing when and how to eat it that makes it a forbidden fruit for many. I am still not sure if it has any seeds in it. I never encountered a seed that I am sure that I ate because I usually eat the whole thing save the skins, Eating a fuyu persimmon , it is possible to eat the shinny outer skin but I prefer to cut it off and eat the interior crisp orange flesh. People I know make custard out of the soft ones or persimmon bread. Often you can find big boxes of them in local oriental supermarkets when in season but they also can show up in stores like Kroger's Fred Meyer store. They tend to get expensive because of their forbidden status demand is limited so stores mark up the price worrying that they will have to depose of unsold fruit sooner than later. I wholesale fuyu persimmons for 50 cents each but I can also sell them for $1 or 3 for $2 just as easily. My competition also sells them on ebay. Because the fruit takes time to ripen I can pack about 20 in a flat rate box and send them anywhere in the USA. That experiment worked just fine last year and the total cost for a box of 20 was just $22 including postage. I predict that the fuyu persimmon will one day become as popular as watermelon is in summer as the new American Fall and early winter seasonal fruit. Other varieties of persimmons include a tiny Oriental variety that gets sold by florists for decoration. The fuyus are also sometimes sold clinging to the branches they grow as floral arrangements, Some times I will cut off loaded branches and bring them to Farmer's market to sell as edible ornamentals. Fuyu Persimmons are a great thanks giving season addition to traditional fare worthy of consideration. It is really a shame that such an exquisite fruit has such a small fan club in big super markets. Maybe you should consider being among the first to try one for the first time. To see what fuyu persimmons look like google the image. in season you can also find the fruit sold on sites like craigslist. If you are lucky you might find someone with a tree in their back yard giving away all the fruit pre-picked or for the picking. Fuyu persimmons are a forbidden fruit because you may not know about them. Tasting one might give you a sense of pleasure in finding something new in the boring local produce aisle of your super market but in no way will you find them to be something that opens the eyes to evil unless may your name is eve. .