Persimmons: Weather Lore

Persimmons are best enjoyed just on the cusp of rotten. It is a fine, fine line, one that probably reflects why you do not see persimmons at the grocery store. Unripe, they are hideous and offensively inedible. Overripe they are, well, rotten. But just before rotten they have a complex orange flavor that is slightly medicinal and weirdly artificial-tasting. They taste exactly like those cheap plastic sleeves of flavored ice (the orange flavor).

A Persimmon. Not-Quite-Rotten-Orange-Ice Flavored

A Persimmon. Not-Quite-Rotten-Orange-Ice Flavored

Normally we taste a few and let the rest fall to the ground and rot (plus the deer eat them). In a perfect world, we’d make preserves and sauces and other delicacies with complex flavor profiles by adding some calyxes of roselle. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Persimmons have a higher calling. They are meteorologists.

The persimmon seed: what will the future hold?

The persimmon seed: what will the future hold?

The past few years we have enjoyed the tradition of cutting into a persimmon seed to see what the winter will be like. A fork means it will be a mild winter, a spoon means lots of snow and a knife means cold winter winds will blow.

Get out the snow shovels!

Get out the snow shovels! (2013 seed)

I love winter, and snow is just so much fun and the more snow, the more wintering-garden pests will be killed off. I don’t really care what the weather will be in winter. Snow, no snow, cold, warm. It’s kind of like whatever, I’ll enjoy what I get. The weather changes drastically about every twelve hours in Missouri so I wouldn’t exactly buy a season pass to Hidden Valley on the sight of a spoon. I just think it is really fun to see the spoon, fork or knife (and we truly have seen all three!) in the persimmon seeds.

Note: If you do try and cut a persimmon seed be VERY careful. They are tough seeds so use a sharp knife and be very careful.

A green persimmon

A green persimmon

A ripening persimmon

A ripening persimmon

A not-quite-rotten persimmon

A not-quite-rotten persimmon…MMMmmm!

As for the upcoming 2014-2015 Winter? To be announced! The Spy collected a (specially chosen) persimmon seed for us to find out. Forecast coming soon!

18 thoughts on “Persimmons: Weather Lore

  1. narf77

    It might be time to get hold of a persimmon or two for Serendipity Farm methinks, especially as they do so well around here…but first…find your persimmon!

    Reply
      1. narf77

        Oh THAT’S right! (Duh…forgot that bit ;) ) Maybe “I” should lay off the cooking sherry? It was our aniversary yesterday though so cooking sherry was the go ;) and SNOW WOOT!!! :) I can’t wait to see some snowy photos :)

  2. Pingback: 43. Lawn and Garden | Spy Garden

  3. Julianna Holden Mohler

    You grow persimmons or have a tree involuntarily? I absolutely LOVE persimmons! In fact, when it’s the season for them, I plan to buy a boatload and dehydrate them. That way, we’ll have plenty when they’re no longer in season. Maybe it depends on the variety? To me, the ripe ones are almost a delicacy. I never heard that about the seeds though. I’ll have to cut one open and see!

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      The trees are big and old and just on the property. We would actually need to break out the ladder if we wanted to harvest a bunch of them. Dehydrated persimmons sound awesome! I do agree the flavor is very unique and complex. You’ve got me thinking I should probably take better advantage of the trees and that a harvest is in order! ;)

      Reply
  4. The Belmont Rooster

    My dad always said if there was a spoon in the seed it meant we would have a lot of snow. I never saw anything but a spoon… I haven’t ate a persimmon in a long time, but we do have a few trees here on the farm. GREAT post as always!

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      I remember those wooly caterpillars and that myth (I went to college in Connecticut)! I don’t know if we have those caterpillars in Missouri. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
      1. Eliza Waters

        Wooly bears range in the Plain states, but maybe you’re more Southern? In your photos Missouri looks a bit like Connecticut, at least the rural parts, which sadly are becoming fewer with each passing year. I love rural living and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else!

      2. Spy Garden Post author

        We probably do have wooly bears here just not as many as CT. Yes, their are various similarities between CT and MO (topography, the woods are similar). We just have a much milder winter. But there is certainly no shortage of rural areas in MO!

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