Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Tale of Two Berries

The persimmon is the edible fruit from a number of trees in the ebony wood family.  These winter berries are only in season from late October through early January.  They peak during December, so get at them while the gettin' is still good!

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There are two major types of persimmons, the Fuyu and the Hachiya.  The Fuyu persimmon is a round, squat specimen that aesthetically resembles its cousin, the tomato.  The Hachiya persimmon is heart-shaped and is usually much larger than the Fuyu.
Fuyu on the left; Hachiya on the right.
The flavor is warm and familiar -- brown sugar, cinnamon, and clove -- the quintessence of autumn.  If ripe, there isn't much difference between the Fuyu and Hachiya varieties, however, it should be noted that an unripe Hachiya is nearly inedible on account of the high tannin levels.  Seriously, if you hang a fang on one of these before it's ready it leaves a chalky "fuzz" over your tongue – très bitter.


Beginners should stick w/ the Fuyu variety -- they are much more forgiving if you cut into them a bit early and still have an amazing flavor.

© 2010 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" - http://www.missioninsatiable.com

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