Persimmon -- By Coy Domecq

There is an unassuming tree in our midst that bears what is considered a heaven-inspired treat. The foliage is plain and the bark is somewhat unremarkable. But the fruit, oh the fruit, well visually it is undistinguished too. However the taste of the fruit is well worth investigating but only after a cooling of the season.
The Persimmon tree (Diospyrus virginiana) is native to much of the eastern and southern United States. It once was enjoyed as a prominent food species by Native Americans and early settlers. The American persimmon fruit, not to be confused with the larger Asian varieties, is bitter and astringent until a hard frost has a chance to inactivate the tannins in the fruit to release its sweetness. Captain John Smith around 1607 was quoted as saying about the persimmon, “… if it is not ripe, it will drive a man’s mouth awrie with much torment, but when it is ripe, it is as delicious as the Apricock”.
The persimmon is high in fructose but for a 3.5 ounce serving it has only 70 calories. The fruit is high in fiber, low in cholesterol, and is loaded with Vitamins A, B-complex and C. Nutritional research reveals that persimmons are also high in antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene.
Native Americans used the fruit fresh during the season and dried to help augment their winter diet. The English name persimmon is thought to have come from the corruption of the Algonquin words for dried fruit….putchamin, pasiminan, and pessamin. The early settlers learned to use the fruit in its natural state and to incorporate the persimmon in puddings, muffins, puddings and preserves. The persimmon was also used to make a fermented beverage approximating beer.
If you can source a good persimmon supply during this holiday season, I heartily recommend you give them a try. As an additional recommendation, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Latin genus name Diospyrus translates into English as - Food of the Gods.

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Persimmon -- By Coy Domecq Persimmon -- By Coy Domecq Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I have had persimmon before from the Knauss farm. They were delicious.


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