November carries bunch of nature’s harvest. Munching plentiful fall color ingredients is the best thing to do. While Japan doesn't have Thanksgiving traditions, I still love it, almost one of my favorite events of the year as Thanksgiving involves with food and everything comes with food.
Thanksgiving season is just around the corner. These orange-colored beautiful persimmons reminded me of that fact, even being in Japan. No turkey or no pumpkin pie here after the dinner on that day; however, I instantly think of Thanksgiving when I see color of orange.
My friend sent me these pretty persimmons the other day. Perfect orange color persimmons also bring me back to a memory of the house I grew up.
The house I grew up had a persimmon tree and a fig tree. After school, I climbed up these trees with my siblings to pick up persimmons and figs. Although we were fed with snacks prepared by my mother, they were extra handy snacks for hungry kids.
Anyway, let’s get back to the persimmons in the photo. Shapes and tastes of persimmons vary in different varieties. This particular type is called “Fu-Yu” or “Fu-Yu Kaki (kaki means persimmon).”
Fu-yu persimmons are nicely wrapped individually with the soft white paper with their name in kanji (Japanese character). I would say that they are probably twice as expensive as regular persimmons because of their limited area of production and their original extra sweetness. I adore this meltingly sweet taste.
Where I live is also famous for producing fu-yu persimmons. This region has been producing fu-yu since late 1800 with a long history. While persimmons have two original tastes; sweet or astringent, fu-yu is completely a sweet type and shares more than half of yield in the market. Round and chubby looking with lots of sweet juice is adorable and fu-yu is known for being easily ripen very soon.
Not only fu-yu persimmons but other brands of persimmons have same nutrition: vitamin C, carotene, potassium, and tannin.
Vitamin C in persimmons is great one in fall ingredients. As a woman, I do love to expect having shiny, flawless, beautiful, healthy, and baby-like skins by eating persimmons. Persimmons can help preventing seasonal cold, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, arteriosclerosis, and cerebral infarction.
Hangover symptoms can be disappeared by tannin in persimmons. Plus, the combination of tannin and potassium with vitamin C can work on hangover more effectively. It is because that tannin decomposes alcohol, potassium induces urination, and vitamin C has an oxidation-reduction effect.
Fu-yu persimmons are sweet ones and there is another type of persimmons: astringent ones. The difference between these two tastes depends on how much tannin in a persimmon is dissolved in a mouth when you bite. The more tannin dissolves, the more the taste gets astringent. The less tannin dissolves, the more the taste gets sweeter. When persimmons are still babies on the tree, every persimmon contains soluble tannin. However, tannin in sweet persimmons like fu-yu turns into insoluble as they grow and astringency doesn’t stand out when you bite. What a mechanism the nature gives.
(Partial Reference: Wikipedia)
Japanese sweet confectioners use persimmons as a dessert and even home-made dried persimmons are very popular during winter time. But these desserts don’t require persimmons being cooked with the heat, either dry or simmer them.
So the persimmon tart made by one of my friends in San Francisco surprised me very much. I guess this was my very first time to taste heated persimmons in the oven. It’s a shame and regretful that I didn’t get her recipe! Beautifully cut persimmon on the tart was sweeter than eating raw or dried. Heat in the oven enhanced the color of orange. She made this delish tart right after the Thanksgiving season.
We don’t have a custom to celebrate Thanksgiving in Japan; however, I used to love Thanksgiving, especially mingling and enjoying great harvest. Talking about persimmons reminded me of my great friend’s tart and precious Thanksgiving feast.
Happy Thanksgiving for ones at the Thanksgiving table with families and friends!