Since August I’ve passed a mysterious fruited tree on my way to Art 103. A scraggly, tiny-fruit bearing tree with yellowing balls hidden behind the leaves. I concluded they were unripen crabapples and vowed to wait until they turned red to harvest them. I anxiously waited months to see their change in color but to no avail.
Fast forward to Late October: All the leaves had fallen off revealing a scattering of deep orange fruit. These weren’t crabapples; they were wild persimmons.
I stripped the lower branches free of these tiny jewels and tucked them into my brown paper bag.
These were no beauties: small, shriveled and squishy, these persimmons seemed to be the antithesis of a ‘bountiful harvest’ I was skeptical.
But one bite-sized fruit was all it took: the burst of concentrated sweetness rocked my world. Such flavor!
It was something like triple-cooked-down persimmon jam, but much more earthy, with hints of vanilla and orange (if that were even possible). The skin was thin and unnoticeable, like the skin of a grape. The flesh melted like butter; the the fibrous strands I had examined earlier seemed to have disappeared.
Then just like that it was gone. Even as the astringency hit and my tongue crumpled I craved another, to revel in the flavors of fall.
About 1 1/2 pounds of these fleshy persimmons disappeared in 4 days, the majority enjoyed the day-of. They were incredibly ripe and many had burst when I plucked them off the tree branches.
I will miss these: they were a true sign of autumn coming to an end and winter creeping through the winds.
I have also staked out this tree for the next 3 years, in case you were wondering.
Some more photos of my foraging success:
I have saved the seeds and plan on sprouting several persimmon trees in my room next year.
I’ll let you guys know how it goes.