In the Garden: Apples are gone but persimmons are still here
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - In this week’s segment of “In the Garden," our Sharon Meyer and garden expert Charlie Nardozzi talk about how apples and pears may be out of season but persimmons are still here.
Sharon: Charlie, your orchard always has interesting things in it!
Charlie: Well, the apples and pears are gone but the persimmons are still here! (Laughter)
Sharon: But they seem kind of soft.
Charlie: Well, that’s what you want.
Sharon: You do?
Charlie: This is an American version of the Oriental or Asian persimmon that you find in grocery stores. Those are pretty big, like softball size, but this one is small kind of like a little rosehip or a little plum. And it’s a hearty tree, it grows 20 feet tall has beautiful golden foliage. You can see there’s still a few leaves on their (laughter)
Sharon: They are coming down as we speak.
Charlie: Exactly, you only need one variety and there’s a number of different ones that are hearty to zone four so Meader and Early Golden and Yates are all good varieties to grow and the best thing about it is they produce these orange fruit this time of year that hang on the tree after the leaves drop so it kind of looks a little spooky, too!
Charlie: So once they start softening up a little bit that’s the time you can enjoy them. So the botanical name for persimmon means food of the gods. So it’s got a high standard here for you.
Sharon: I was going to say setting the bar pretty high. Now, what happens if you eat them before they get soft like this?
Charlie: They have a very, they dry your mouth out, kind of like an astringent would be. So they’re not gonna hurt you or anything, they just don’t taste that great but if you let them get really mushy soft, like you have there, you pop off the cap, we can do it together just so you believe me.
Sharon: Yeah I’m getting ahead of you.
Charlie: At this point, you can either just suck out the insides or you can eat the whole thing right into your mouth just like this (chewing), yum!
Sharon: Oh that’s good!
Charlie: Isn’t that good?
Sharon: Is the skin not, let me try the skin.
Charlie: You can try the skin, sometimes that’s going to have a little astringency to it. But it has a kind of a sweet custardy flavor. It’s great for making muffins or pies or bread or just eating them just like this. And if you’re not going to like them you know the raccoons and possums will eventually get them, too. So it’s a nice tree for the landscape a nice shade tree to have a new yard has nice big avocado like leaves to it and it has the fruits in the fall.
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