ciento volando

travel, stories, and other flights of fancy

Kaki and Higo

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That sounds like a Japanese love story.

But this post was actually inspired by grocery shopping in Spain.

You see, I’m a little bit excited at the moment. A couple days ago I went to my local frutería and found the first persimmons (kakis) of the season were in (early, and I’m wondering if perhaps it’s a positive side effect of global warming?!). Not only that, but figs (higos) haven’t quite finished yet. So the oh-so-wonderful upshot is that now I can eat my two favourite fruits at the same time!

I know, I know, it’s rude to boast about such things, all you people in the southern hemisphere must be burning with jealousy at my outrageously exciting life. But you have summer to look forward to, so don’t begrudge me the joy of delicious autumn fruits :-P (that’s a smiley face with a tongue sticking out)

persimmon treeIn case you are wondering about persimmons (they’re not so common in Oz), well they’re a fairly recent discovery for me too. Up until last year I’d never tried one, but I’d always thought of them as mushy, inedible things. When I was a girl, my elderly piano teacher had a persimmon tree in her front yard. I remember the patchy grass under the tree being be littered with fallen fruit, which decomposed amongst the autumn leaves, giving the whole garden a rather sickly aspect.  I think that’s pretty much the only time I ever came into contact with persimmons, until I got to Spain, some twenty years later.

As every fruit (and almost every food) deserves a chance, I decided to give one a go, almost out of charity. It was pretty to look at; shiny, bright orange, flawless. It’s so weird biting or cutting into an unknown fruit, not knowing what you’ll find inside. Will there be pips? A stone? How much pressure should I apply? Will the juice squirt all over me? But the persimmon is a friendly fruit, with no noticeable pips, stone, or too-squirty juice. Excellent for novices. And as it turned out, they’re delicious! Subtly vanilla-ish, but not at all sickly or overly sweet. For me, it’s all about textures, so the best bit is about persimmons is the contrast between the skin (slightly thicker than an apple’s) and the soft interior, yum. (So long as they’re not overly ripe, in which case they start crossing into rotting piano teacher’s garden territory).

And did you know that persimmons are actually berries? Well they are, Wikipedia told me so.

This time last year I was rambling on a similar tangent, raving about nuts and berries and autumnal fruits. I wrote up a recipe for a fig salad that I was particularly proud of, with the intention of it being the first in a long series of genius culinary creations which I would share with the world. Naturally, I haven’t written any more. I should probably do something creative with persimmons, but they’re so good just how they are.

This is my serving suggestion. Not only a match made in heaven, but another meal that can be eaten with one of those fun little tapas forks!

persimmon and figs, just like that

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