Ode to Persimmon – 12/2020

What fruits mature in the dormant depths of winter?
What fruits when ripe, so deliciously plump, so wantonly juiced and sweet, offer so much edible pleasure?

The persimmon.

Wikipedia has this dry botanical description:
Latin: ‘Diospyrus Kaki’. Diospyros is in the family Ebenaceae, The word Diospyros comes from the ancient Greek words “dios” (δῐος) and “pyron” (πῡρον). A popular etymology construed this as “divine fruit”, or as meaning “wheat of Zeus”[2] or “God’s pear” and “Jove’s fire”.

OK this tells me something but not what I want you, the reader, to know about the persimmons on our land.
Known locally as ‘Kaki’ fruit, they hang, pendulous, on naked branches fit to break under their combined weight; while our one small tree’s yellowed leaves lie lifeless in the dirt below.
Like baubles on a Christmas tree, these orange beauties shine in the wintry light. Their thin flesh-like skins turning slowly to a translucent pink as they become sugar-ripe ready to eat .

Cut free after long months of gestation, this first bright ball of temptation sits softly in my hand. Saliva flows free in my mouth in lustful anticipation of the orgy of taste to come, and then my teeth puncture that oh so delicate skin to release its sensuous flesh within. The honeyed sweetness delights my tongue and the gloopy syrup drips dangerously into my beard as I slurp greedily, drinking it down before it collapses in my stickied fingers.

I could cut it into tidy pieces and eat it slowly, spooning in slow seduction. But persimmon makes demands on my passion for something more basic, more instinctive, more urgent.

The juicy flesh goes right to the centre – no pips, no core, just pure gelatinous joy of excess guilt-free pleasure waiting to be gorged with open mouth. This temptress of the taste-buds, this queen of fleshiness, beacon of brazen colour, ripened by the low sun of autumn and softened by the chill of dark November nights.

As the ‘Kaki’ season starts I find myself impatient to relive that first moment of pleasure. But it is a bitter mistake to tackle the fruit too early. The unripe fruit resists the knife and as you take that first bite into too firm flesh, the flavour quickly turns to bitter distaste. The mouth recoils in a furred pucker, the teeth become rough and the tongue sticks to the roof of the mouth. The reflex is to spit. Tannins, similar to unripe rhubarb, have yet to be converted to fruit sugar.

So patience pays. Better to watch and wait till the fruit gains that pinker sheen on the skin. Cut one carefully from the branch and bring it in doors to let house-warmth bring it to fruition, in full readiness of the sweet sensual pleasure of that first oral assault on that ‘fruit of the Gods’.

As the ‘Kaki’ season starts I find myself impatient to relive that first moment of pleasure. But it is a bitter mistake to tackle the fruit too early. The unripe fruit resists the knife and as you take that first bite into too firm flesh, the flavour quickly turns to bitter distaste. The mouth recoils in a furred pucker, the teeth become rough and the tongue sticks to the roof of the mouth. The reflex is to spit, because tannins, similar to unripe rhubarb, have yet to beconverted to fruit sugSo patience pays. Better to watch and wait till the fruit gains that pinker sheen on the skin. Cut one carefully from the branch and bring it in doors to let house-warmth bring it to fruition, in full readiness of the sweet sensual pleasure of that first oral assault on that ‘fruit of the Gods

About Inner Ventures

Evolutionary Counsellor facilitator and guide on a spiritual path. Craftsman in wood, creative writer, environmentalist & change agent. This blog is my way of promoting my skills, ideas, concerns for the planet, creative work, spiritual searches and philosophy of life in a public forum.
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