she’s so literal her heart is probably heart-shaped
You can always tell when persimmon season is upon us again, because the produce section starts to get really lively, “What kind of tomato is THAT?” you hear people scream in grocery stores around the city. Well, actually you never hear people scream that, or really say anything about persimmons, but what I’m saying is they should. Persimmons are pretty much the fruit world’s best-kept secret.
I was first acquainted with persimmons when I lived in southern Spain for the worst 4 months of my life. This was a time period when if I had been able to speak Spanish, and my host family had deigned to speak to me and we had gone around the dinner table saying the highs and lows of our days, my high would have been a piece of fruit and my low would have been, “Everything else. You.” Which should tell you something about how little I understood the point of studying abroad.
There are two varieties, the small tomato-shaped Fuyu, and the larger fat-bullet shaped Hachiya. In Spain, I ate the Hachiya exclusively, to absolutely no deleterious effect. However, whenever I have eaten the Hachiya in the United States, it has always been a mistake. This type of persimmon is very astringent due high levels of soluble tannins, and if eaten before it is ripe (and from what I can tell it is never ripe) will turn your mouth inside out. It’s a very strange feeling and worth a try, if you want to experience what can only be described as your delicate cheek tissue rapidly sloughing off and going down your throat.
The Fuyu, while not completely free of tannins, has never caused my mouth to shed a layer of skin, and has become my go-to persimmon. I am often asked while eating my daily persimmon, what it tastes like, and to that I can only say that a good persimmon tastes like something the gods would eat. The flesh, and I do not use that word lightly, is subtly sweet, with a texture somewhere between a pear and something way better, and it’s the color of a sunset. In other words don’t ask me what a persimmon tastes like. Taste your own persimmon today.