The mystery of the persimmons

Our persimmon tree in the backyard was full of persimmons about three weeks ago, right when they started changing from green to orange. Suddenly, they all mysteriously disappeared….

One or two of the low hanging ones had a bite or two taken out and we figured it must be deer. Only a deer could reach them. They looked like deer teeth marks. Sort of.  And there is a deer trail coming from across the railroad tracks of our house.

But suddenly, even those disappeared. The entire persimmon. And all the ones at the very top of the tree, there’s no sign of them. Nothing on the ground. It’s as if something climbed up and pulled them down, one at a time. 

I think it’s raccoons. They can climb, they have little front paws , and they could pull the persimmons off with their teeth and dart right down the tree. Maybe they take them to the creek to wash them before they share them with their friends. That’s my theory. What do you think? Who’s the culprit here? Who is stealing the persimmons?

So, besides the five that I can count from the back porch right now, my other half climbed the tree yesterday and pulled down four more.

Now, does anyone know what to do with persimmons? Can you eat them like an apple? Are they for cooking?

I feel zero waste isn’t just about having zero waste in your trashcan at the end of the week, it’s about wasting nothing. So….what am I going to do with these persimmons?! All nine of them!

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19 responses to “The mystery of the persimmons

  1. Persimmons are delicious! I’ve only had them a couple of times, but they are quite tasty! When they are ripe that is… I believe when unripe they are mildly toxic, enough that they will taste nasty. Enjoy!

  2. I have not heard of this fruit before, so I have probably never even seen one. My dictionary says that they are ok to eat when they are fully ripe….

    In the meantime dear Jennifer give them to the animals…now that really is ‘ green’ and they would love you for helping them.

    Do hope that you are both ok….love P

    • Great call! It looks like the animals have gotten to them before I could! The racoons and deer (and rabbits) must love us around here! ha! So, I can eat them plain. I guess I’ll have to take a bite and post it up! :)

  3. Oh my….Have made permission pudding for years! My Gma had a tree in her back yard, in fact, close to the back door. Which was not such a good spot, as had to step around them before going into her house.
    For the pudding, must make pulp from the fruit. I do the old fashioned way, have a sieve, wooden “thingie” that you crush them with…actually quite a physical job!!!!! And, takes 2 cups of pulp to make pudding, so…..

    • Pudding, huh? Well, there’s a new idea.You think I could get 2 cups out of 9 persimmons? Probably not. I’ll have to look up at the tree and see if there are any I missed! Sounds tasty.I hope you are doing well Mrs. Bliss. Always good to see your comments on here! We’ve been blasted with a cold front. Word has it so have you guys!

  4. I am DESPERATE to know who stole your persimmons! This is not a problem I come across in my 1st floor flat in London but it sure is fascinating… You can make pies with persimmon or apparently there is a traditional American ‘pudding’ check it out and let us know! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persimmon_pudding

    • I know, right? It’s such a MYSTERY! Right around Halloween too! ha!Persimmon pie….hmmm. And I’m seriously going to have to look into this pudding. I found three more on the tree yesterday! How I’m going to get them down is a whole other story! I’ll let you know what we concoct!

  5. You can eat the persimmons when they are soft and perfumey, although some people like them slightly hard. They are delicious for just eating out of hand. Both the skin and the flesh is good to eat. I’m envious of your persimmon harvest… they are one of my favorite fruits.

    • I didn’t realize what a treasure I had! When my husband and I moved in, he asked, “What are these?” We’d never seen them before. If you live anywhere near south GA, I’ll share them with you! :)We’re going to try our first one tomorrow!

      • It kind of looks like you have a fuyu persimmon here–here’s a link to a blog with them cut up and eaten like an apple.

        http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fuyu_persimmons/

        There are also recipes on that blog! Also lots of helpful tips about how it’s okay to let fuyu persimmons ripen off the tree.

        I can only say that it’s so wonderful, if you had another variety that is more suitable for cooking and making into pies it wouldn’t be so easy. Usually in the American midwest the persimmons are of the other variety… and you have the Japanese variety!

        I live in Michigan.. which is sadly not very close.

      • Awww. Michigan? :(I’ve never been there but I’ve heard it’s lovely. My brother adores it. He wants to live there and is trying to convince my mom to sell her house and move there too! Maybe we’ll all end up there and I’ll plant my own fuyu persimmons in the backyard.Thanks for the link. Hers look just like mine! Almost like tomatoes. I’m going to try eating them plain first, before I try cooking with them. They take forever to ripen. I’m so impatient!

  6. We had a persimmon tree in Fla. the only tree of any size in the yard. Like you I watched them hoping to get one to taste.. No luck in almost 5 years.. The critters were watching them too! They stole them in the night so I couldn’t catch them. If I’d got the critter it may have been dinner.. Now that’s what a country girl calls zero waste..lol

  7. Amen to that Jackie! Country girls know all about zero waste. I like that! I wish you were closer and I’d give you some of mine. I’ve been eating them up. They are so good. They taste like avocado smoothies! I have exactly 8 left. Matt better get in here if he wants any….

  8. Probably to late now, but I grew up eating persimmon pudding an it was amazing! I don’t recall exactly but you make a sauce from the ripe fruit like applesauce, except you have to use a different tool to mush them because they have big seeds. The pulp can be frozen and used for the pudding anytime. Out of the oven they look like brownies and are pretty solid like Jello Knox blocks, but it is very moist and squishy. Delicious, I want some now. Around were I live they are hard to come by and easily sell at a farmers markets. My grandparents had a couple trees and they had to guard against “human” culprits! Read about the trees – I was always told they have to be grown in pairs to produce fruit. Let me know if you want the recipe!

    • Trafalga21, Yes, I want the recipe! It sounds delicious, especially the part where you said they looked like brownies when you took them out of the oven but they were moist and squishy. We only have 5 left, two still hanging on the tree, though all the leaves are gone. They look so lonely up there but I can’t reach them! I’ll have to get the ladder. I can’t believe they haven’t been “stolen” by the coons yet. I laughed when you said your grandparents had to guard them from “human” culprits! :)
      This way I’ll have the recipe for next year. Now that I know what to do with them, I’ll have to try this pudding!! Mmmm. Thanks!

      • 1 cup persimmon pulp
        1 cup flour
        1/2 cup sweet cream (milk +2tbsp. vinegar)
        1 tsp. cinnamon
        2 eggs
        1 cup sugar
        1 cup sour milk
        1 tsp soda dissolved in sour milk
        1/2 tsp. salt
        1/2 cup melted butter.
        mix and bake @ 275 for 1 hour.
        That’s it on the recipe. I am a detail freak and I have never liked instructions that just say mix and bake. I believe we put this in a 9×13 glass pan or maybe 8×12 if that’s possible. I also vaguely remember that we normally double the recipe (not sure about this though). I also think it is kinda soupy before baking. It has probably been 15 years since I made this. Out of the oven it is a dark brown getting close to black, kinda like a really dark chocolate and about 1/2″ thick and usually pulls away from the edges. I also think a toothpick in the middle is supposed to come out clean. It doesn’t really settle or anything. Goes well with ice cream but I always ate it by itself.

        I did a quick google search and you can find ways to pulp them. We used a “Foley Food Mill” – never knew that’s what it was called.

  9. Awww Trafalga! Thank you! It looks so good, I think I’ll go BUY persimmons just to make this. I’ll have to do a post about it! This is SO great! It would be perfect for the holiday dinners where I need to bring a dish because it’s not something you see every day! Thank you so, so much!!

  10. I saw a persimmon fruit for the first time a couple of years ago, when my local shop got some. It was such a bizarre moment that I wrote a causerie about the situation: http://www.aveawesomeness.tumblr.com/post/49890177853/the-persimmon-mystery. I was surprised to find another blog entry when I googled “persimmon mystery” because I thought that was a title not many people would come up with… :D

    Actually I hadn’t seen new kinds of fruit in the stores during the previous 27 years of my life, so I bought a ton of these Persimmons! I live in Finland, which is too north for Persimmons to grow here, so even though they’re quite commonplace in some other parts of the world, they were exotic fruits for me. :)

    Now I eat them every time some store has them available, but the best recipe for them, in my opinion, is to throw them into the blender with some Kiwi fruits and mix in some “Turkish yoghurt”, or “Greek yoghurt” – basically they’re the same stuff with two different names. It has no flavorings and something like 10% fat in it, but man it makes a great shake with Persimmons and Kiwis. :)

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