Friday, November 14, 2008
Fall foods are always a greatly appreciated arrival, and this year is no exception. But the topic of today's post is not about a favorite fall food from growing up, but a more recent one. I didn't taste my first persimmon until moving to Busan, South Korea in the fall of 2004. I was at first intrigued, unsure, and then hooked.
I ate the firm variety, called Gam in Korean. I also ate the soft ones, called hong-shi. The persimmons growing on the trees in the neighborhoods by my apartment is one image I will always remember. For months they were sold at stores, in the alleyways, and out of the backs of trucks. When the season wound down, those same truck sold truckloads of dried persimmons.
I returned to America and kind of forgot about persimmons. I moved to Thailand where persimmons are sometimes sold as an "exotic" fruit on the streets or stores in Bangkok. This kind of fruit I would often refer to as status fruit. Besides eating persimmons briefly in Vietnam, I always ate whatever was available locally, and it certainly wasn't persimmons.
Since moving to the State of California, I've enjoyed the expected berries, stone fruits, and recent apples. How delighted I was to learn that in fact persimmons are an abundant fall/winter crop. I'd had no idea.
I hit up the Old Oakland farmers market every week and buy many pounds of fruit. Persimmons are a welcome re-addition to my normal diet.
Today I bought three pounds of firm fuyu persimmons, and six soft Hachiya persimmons.