In Our State this month, there was an article about wild persimmons, and how they’re the fruit of the Gods.
Frankly, I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. Every persimmon I’ve ever tasted made my face pucker and lips curl.
The article goes on to say you should never pick a persimmon from the tree…wait until it drops on the ground…that’s how you know they’ll be ripe and edible.
So I decided to give this theory a chance, since there are wild persimmon trees on our property.
Today, I pulled on my Sahalie shorts, Life is Good t-shirt, and donned my grey warm-up jacket. After lacing up my tennis shoes, the dogs and I sprinted down the deck steps to the first clearing where the persimmons lay strewn about the ground.
I collected as many could fit into a Kleenex, and stuffed the makeshift carryall in my jacket pocket. I laughed and realized ‘how silly of me’, because I knew I’d be back for more fruit.
My mini Aussie Shepherd and I raced up the deck steps. Gently, I removed the Kleenex filled with persimmons, and set the ripe cargo on our patio table. As I glanced back at our property, I noticed Red Dog, with his nose to the ground. As he raised his head, I caught him munching on those peachy treasures, savoring every bite.
Racing back down the steps, I collected more persimmons underfoot, and plucked two from the tree. Once inside the house, I selected one of the specimens I’d picked from the tree. I was eager to prove Sheri Castle, the article’s author, wrong about her theory.
As I bit into the tough skin, my face shrunk up like a prune. I spit it back out.
Next I selected a peachy-purple specimen, almost bruised-looking, and carefully bit into the fruit. Surprised, it tasted like guava, peach, apricot and even a touch of cinnamon. As I chewed, I noticed the skin was thin, with the pulp soft and fibrous – eager to shed its seeds. Yes, this persimmon was on the ground.
It’s probably too late this year, but next year I’ll be ready for those sweet persimmons as they drop like sugarplums onto one of Grandma’s quilts, at the suggestion of Our State (blanketing the ground to catch the fruit).
But for now, I’ll savor those tiny little ‘deer candies’ until they’re gone, and concede that I’ve figured out ‘the fuss about persimmons.’