A few weeks ago, I made one of my bi-annual trips to the grocery store, much to Henry’s chagrin. He’s very focused on the things we need, like milk and toilet paper, but when I’m there with him, I like to jack up the bill with my natural ability to sniff out expensive foods.
On this particular day, I saw a gross-looking thing called a Sharon. No, not your ex-wife. It was some kind of ugly tomato thing, so I tossed it in the cart.
“You don’t even know what that is!” Henry cried. Oh noes, I just added $1-something to his stupid tab! Get over it!
Anyway, I googled it on the way home and it is apparently a persimmon from Israel. You know what else it is? Fucking delicious. Henry totally thought I was going to hate it, I could tell by the way he slid the plate of cut-up Sharon across the table and then ran for cover. But instead, I was pleasantly pleased by the gentleness of the fruit, the subtle cinnamon notes, the non-grotesque texture.
I can’t believe you guys let me become 33 years old without ever knowing that I like persimmons. THANKS A LOT.
So now of course, I’m on a persimmon pilgramage straight to a little place I like to call Palate Paradise. I brought a Sharon to work with me on Monday and then texted Christina about it. She lives near the best grocery store of all time, Jungle Jim’s. I figured, if some asshole can walk into that place and purchase a durian, surely they must have an array of persimmon that’s downright pornographic. I wanted her to find out for me, so she called the produce department and ended up getting an extensive oral history.
Now I’m jealous that Christina might know more about my beloved tree diamonds than I do.
Anyway, the verdict was that, while Jungle Jim’s typically has three persimmon types to offer, they currently are only selling two. Sharons are one of them.
At lunch with Carey on Monday, I tried to strike up a friendly and not at all awkward conversation about persimmons. Funny, but I guess there isn’t a whole lot to really be said about them beyond “I like them a lot.” And then I spent the rest of the day at work looking up dessert recipes for them.
“THERE’S PERSIMMON PUDDING?!?” I email-shouted at Carey.
“I guess so,” she replied. I clearly need to find myself a more enthusiastic produce pal.
Wikipedia taught me that persimmons are popular Asian fruits, so I decided that it was imperative to visit the Asian markets yesterday. Maybe we’d get lucky and arrive right after a massive persimmon harvest.
Chooch is really into Asian horror movies; his favorite is “Ju-On,” which is funny because I don’t think he’s even seen the original, just all the sequels. However, he just doesn’t understand that “Ju-On” is not the name of a character, but rather a concept. It literally means “grudge.” So he is always saying things like, “What if Ju-On is hiding behind that bush?” or “Look Mommy, I’m dancing like Ju-On to ‘Call Me Maybe’!” We even wrote “To Chooch, From Ju-On” on one of his Christmas presents, because if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?
Chooch got Ju-On 2 for Christmas.
Chooch was stoked when I found this thing I filled out in 2004 on LiveJournal, where I listed “Ju-On” as being one of my Top 7 movies. (LOL @ Alice Doesn’t LiveR Here Anymore.)
In front of the second market we stopped at, a group of Asian girls were outside, stuffing food into suitcases. (Seriously, I have no idea what that was about.)
“They all look like Ju-On!” Chooch exclaimed. “That’s a good sign.” I tried to tell him that he was being rude, but you know, he’s six. To him, he’s being observant.
Chooch walked around the market, casting accidental aspersions every which way. “Ew, that looks DISGUSTING!” was his very succinct review of every single Asian food product, except for the box of Pokemon-like trading cards.
And then he started singing Gangnam Style.
There were no persimmons in either market we went to, however, there were copious amounts of treats in temptingly-packaged bags. Henry wanted to buy nothing but a bag of fresh green beans, but I just kept coming at him with the harajuku of snackfoods: plum candy, durian taffy, pudding marshmallows, Pocky (really, the only safe bet in these joints), some kind of 3:15pm Rose Milk Tea that I am only going to drink at exactly 3:15 because I’m scared to do otherwise.
“You’re not going to like any of that!” Henry cried, but I insisted that I knew what I was doing. (Just like that time in 2004 when I came home from Cincinnati with a durian.)
“We have to get this!” I shouted, shaking a container of some kind of fried sesame balls in the air.
“How much is it?” Henry wondered, pushing down his glasses to get a better look.
“Can you really put a price on a happy mouth?” I shot back, and it was literally the first time in maybe 2 years that Henry actually laughed at something I said. Too bad I was being serious.
Persimmon-less and with $50 less in the bank, we were in the car and I was tearing open bags of Asian crap-candy. “You’re going to eat all of this whether you like it or not,” Henry said in his Scary-But-Not-Scary Dad Voice just as I stuffed a taro/sweet potato “cake” into my Western mouth.
I like taro.
I like sweet potato.
I like cake.
Still, I should have known that in Asian cuisine, these mean completely different things. I tried to act like it was the equivalent of sucking on Jonny Craig’s tongue, but no amount of ginger mouth-muscles could get me to stop pulling my face into a montage of dry-heaval.
I almost killed myself trying to spit that shit out the window. It tasted of sewage and fear.
Long story long, persimmons were procured at the regular grocery store and, with the addition of longan (my favorite froyo topping!), lychee and jackfruit all purchased in the canned food aisle at the Asian market, I brought the most exotic and overpriced fruit salad to work with me today.
Fuck an apple. They’re old news.
Look out co-workers. I’m bringing in my rejected candy bounty for you guys. Plum candy all day long! Mmm, happy mouths for you! It won’t at all taste like you’re sucking on the toes of Takashi Miike’s nightmares.
I won’t share my Sharons, though. Not even with Ju-On. I might have what you’d call persimmon parsimony. OH, I WENT THERE.
This might be one of my new favorite posts.
I love that 3:15 milk tea. it’s got everything you want in one convenient package. :-)
Alright, convince me this Asian wonder fruit is everything you say.
Persimmons are, in fact, delightful! I only found that out because I purchase produce from a co-op and one week, they gave us like 30. I never would have tried it otherwise. But now I really want to try jackfruit because I’ve never even heard of it but it totally sounds like something I’d enjoy.
Also, I kind of want to know what would happen if you drank 3:15 tea at, say, 3:24. Or, to take it a bit further, after midnight some time. Would it spur some sort of Ju-On attack?
Jackfruit is good! It reminds me of something, maybe mango? I can’t place it. Asians know how to fruit it up.
I want Henry to make persimmon pie!
“some kind of 3:15pm Rose Milk Tea that I am only going to drink at exactly 3:15 because I’m scared to do otherwise.”
You’re one up on me; I had no idea what a persimmon even was. I refuse to ever, ever call them Sharons.
I always confused persimmon and pomegranate (which I actually eat fairly regularly) but for some reason I have never been inspired to seek persimmons out. I’m so glad I accidentally bought one! Try one!