Project Love Baton Rouge: Day 14 – Persimmons

My…. this weekend flew by. I can’t believe it’s Sunday night already. Another FullSizeRender-6monsoon visited us on Saturday pre-empting my Lions’ football game. But I did manage to get a hike in this morning with a few of my hiking club and backpacking class members. We did “The Beast” trail in St. Francisville. I didn’t like it. It was hard to follow, and we spent too much time trying to figure out where we were instead of enjoying nature. And, we got lost and ended up back at the car much sooner than intended. Oh well… it was fun to have company, but I’ll pick another trail next time.

Carry, Kin, Katrina and Me on The Beast

Carryn, Kin, Katrina and Me on The Beast

Yesterday I hurried over to the Farmer’s Market early so that I could get my errands done. One of the farmers had a fruit he called Kuyu but I thought looked like a persimmon. A little research tells me there are three types of persimmon, and Kuyu is one of the types. I sampled the orange fruit at the table and fell in love immediately. It was a tad crisp but tasted like the coolest sweetest honey in the world. I bought a quart and brought them home.

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The word persimmon literally means “food of the gods”. Watch this video to see how to eat the Kuyu persimmon. This woman is as enamored of it as I am.

I had a persimmon tree in my yard in Knoxville. I hated that thing. Every fall, the fruit would fall all over the ground, and it was slippery like pudding. From what I’ve read, my persimmon tree must have been the Hachiya persimmon which is not edible until it’s extremely ripe. Then, of course, you have to eat it right away. If I had known how good they were, I would have picked all of those over-ripe persimmons before they hit the ground and put them in the freezer. The soft jelly-like inside freezes like a sorbet. I missed out.

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The Kuyu can be eaten when it is crisp but not green. Apparently, there is a third type of persimmon that grows wild here in Louisiana, and it should only be eaten really ripe like the Hachiya. I ate another persimmon last night and another one with dinner tonight. I may go get another for dessert. And then maybe one more as a bedtime snack. The taste is really clean and crisp. I’m trying to find some recipes so that I can cook with them, and I hope that this isn’t the last of the season here. I’d love to find a place to buy or pick more.

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Tonight for dinner, I decided to have a local harvest special. I bought some purple sweet potatoes at Trader Joe’s and fresh eggs, butternut squash, sweet onions and turnips at the Farmer’s Market. I baked the sweet potatoes and was surprised to see a creamy ivory meat inside. They taste like butter. I took one bite, and I was blown away. I slathered butter on one and ate it right then and there as a snack. I probably would’ve eaten two, but I knew I wouldn’t have room for dinner if I did. I roasted the sweet onions, butternut squash and turnips in some olive oil, sea salt and pepper and topped them with over-easy eggs. I sliced a persimmon as a side dish and ate a delicious orange and white fall feast.

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Everything was so sweet. If anyone has an idea where I can find some of these Kuyu beauties, I’d love to know. And, if you have a favorite way to cook them, I’d like to hear about that, too. So, what I love about Baton Rouge today is the fact that I can buy fresh persimmons here… and that I have 4 more on my counter. I even caught Ashok with one in her mouth today. I grabbed it away before she could steal my treat. She’d never appreciate it like I do. Come to think of it, three of my favorite foods in the world – figs, sweet potatoes and now persimmons – grow here in this warm, humid climate. What’s not to love about that?

Have a great week, y’all! My first backpacking weekend is next week. I’m getting excited and a little nervous, too. I read that some think the trail we are going on – the Backbone Trail in Kisatchie National Forest – is the most beautiful trail in the state. I can’t wait to find out for myself. It looks like the weather won’t be so bad … finally!!

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