When the weather turns cold and heads for the Holiday season, orange-red persimmons are ready for the winter table. They appear in the markets ready for sale.
Persimmons originate in Asia where they remain a very popular food item for China, Japan, Korea. They came to Europe in the 1800’s and can be found also in the United States. In Slovenia, they are called “God’s fruit.” Producers located in the Primorska wine and olive regions at the Coast grow persimmons, or “kaki” on plantations.
The largest plantation is located in Strunjan… noted for its warm and sunny weather. In the past several years, the local tourist offices in that area, responding to interest in local and fresh produce, created a food venue for those who enjoy exceptionally high quality seasonal foods. They organize and promote a persimmon weekend fair where locals can purchase bushels of “kaki” as well as products made from them. Persimmons can be used to make jams, ice cream, cakes, pies, puddings, salads, and beverages. They can be eaten, fresh, cooked, and dried. This year a hundred tons of persimmons were grown in the coastal areas of Slovenia. Entertainment is also part of the program.
Persimmons are yellow to almost red color and are high in vitamin C and beta carotenes. but what is special nutritionally about “kaki” is that is contains catechins and
gallocatechins, the same healthful substances found in green tea. In addition research has identified some potential anti- cancer substances in the persimmon. The fruit is sweet with a slight tang, soft consistency like a peach. An unripe persimmon on the tongue can causes a real pucker –it’s acerbic in taste.