At my elementary school, the music room had a gigantic persimmon tree growing next to it. It’s been there forever, so the music room was eventually called Persimmon over time.
Until about 4th grade, I had no idea that a persimmon was even a fruit. Since this was the only context I had heard the word in, I assumed it was either a musical term or some special type of building. It wasn’t until one winter that I noticed the plump orange fruit on the ground. As I nudged a few pieces around with the toe of my black mary-janes, I heard a big wet thwock, screamed, and turned around to see a boy in my grade chucking the sopping fruit at the back of my white polo.
That’s when I learned what a persimmon really was.
Naturally, I haven’t been a huge fan of them since. Not just because of that fateful afternoon, but mostly because the smell of persimmons has really stuck with me. They have kind of a musky, rich scent that I couldn’t get used to. Now, I feel like there’s something earthy and wonderful about them. But when I was 10, tromping past the growing pile of orange goo on the ground made my stomach flip.
Lately, little paper bags stuffed with persimmons have been appearing in our CSA box. Instead of burying them in the box underneath the clementines, I got a burst of courage yesterday and decided to take a few home with me. Inspired by a photo on bliss (which practically made me drool), I roasted bits of persimmon with vanilla, sugar, butter, and cardamom.
It’s hard to roast anything with a bit of fat and spice and have it turn out poorly, but these persimmons were especially delicious. This morning I spooned big heaps of the warm mess onto my oatmeal, and it was absolutely amazing.
I felt very grown up.