Thursday, December 1, 2011

Death by Persimmon

The other day at the local warehouse retailer, I found these:
Ah, persimmon! I love persimmon! They had Fuyu and these Hachiya ones. I've never had this Hachiya variety. Hmmm. At first, I wanted to buy both and do a taste test. I figured, if I had extra, I'd dry them and give them away as Christmas gifts. But then I thought about all the other designated Christmas gifts that I have left to buy. And, sigh! Budget, budget, budget.

I'd go with the Hachiya because they looked much better. No, they looked BIGGER. And I really like persimmon.

At home, they seemed ripe. I peeled one and cut it up at breakfast for the boys, babbling on about what a wonderful treat this was and how beautiful they look when you cut them. See the star inside? You know, the whole Mommy Talk Up Schtick.

I popped a whole slice in my mouth and immediately, it soaked up every bit of saliva in my mouth. Then my mouth started to go NUMB. It didn't taste bad....  Maybe I hadn't peeled it very well - maybe I had some peel in there? Maybe the peel is like a Super Sponge? Or like the dentist without the glaring light and chair?

I handed Noah a piece, careful not to give him any peel and careful not to let him know that I was eager to take MY piece out of MY mouth before it completely dehydrated and numbed me.

He took a bite.

"Mommy, it tastes okay, but my mouth feels funny."  Guess it wasn't the peel. Hmmm... chemicals? Insecticide!?! I should have bought organic! Or is this a Hachiya-thing?

"Here, bud, spit it out, give it to me." Noah gladly gave me the chewed slice.

So, now that I've confessed my ignorance on this topic, I'll go google and find out what I can.

But if I'm dead tomorrow, you'll know why.

Okay, dokey. If you believe Wikipedia the hachiya persimmon is an astringent, with high levels of tannins before it ripens.  So, my persimmon must not have been ripe. I cross checked this with my resident scientist (always a good idea!), and he tells me that tannin is NOT what I get at the dentist, but it is a toxin, used in leather. And it's brown. Uh huh. Still not very clear to me, but I drank some coca-cola(!) to prevent and bezoars(!) from forming after reading the part of the wikipedia entry about medicinal uses of persimmon. Just in case. Ha! Next time, I'll go with the non-astrigent fuyu persimmon.

By the way: this is EXACTLY the type of information from the internet that I try not to believe too easily. I share this purely for the ridiculous-ness factor. May or may not be true, I won't be held accountable (especially if I'm dead).


Shalini said...

Gregg LOVES persimmons but we've never had this issue. Weird! I do know that he waits until they look like they're rotting, because he says that's when they're "ripe," so maybe...wait longer? Or never eat those again?

Ann Wyse said...

I'm thinking wait until they are ripe(r).

Although - such an odd experience without the use of drugs - must be good for something. ;-)