This is a new one for me. I’m not one to pair fruit with meat usually. I know lots of people enjoy applesauce with pork, but it took quite a while for me to get on board with having any type of fruit with meat. (Truth be told I still can’t do applesauce with pork chops 😉 )
However, I started slowly. First, I tried cranberry sauce with turkey, then I added cranberries to beef and then expanded from there. Now I can do fruit with meat and truly appreciate it. Plus, I’m more willing to try new things now that I’m an adult and I know how to cook fairly well.
I’ve been introduced to a lot of new foods recently and one that I had heard of but never tried were persimmons. I’ve seen them in the store and always wondered what one would do with them but I have never investigated beyond that. So of course when you are presented with the opportunity to blog about a new food, you jump on it!
So, because I’m sure there are many others who are clueless about this mystery fruit we’ve seen in the stores, I figure I should give you some information about it. So here goes:
- This particular brand of persimmon, grown in the Ribera del Xuquer Valley near Valenica, Spain, is different from the traditional persimmon you’ve seen in stores.
- Persimons (one ‘m’) are sold ripe and ready to eat. Traditional Hachiya persimmons must be consumed when they turn soft and ripen.
- They have a sweet delicate flavour similar to cantaloupe, peaches or mango.
- They are seedless, pitless and they don’t need to be peeled.
- They contain 6 grams of fibre per fruit – double the amount found in a peach, banana or orange
- They are a good source of vitamins A and C and are high in antioxidants. They contain potassium, magnesium and manganese, minerals that contribute to the maintenance of good health
- Only persimmons bearing the Persimon® trademark are certified and protected by the Denomination of Origin (D.O.) Ribera del Xuquer. This quality seal (D.O.) is the only designation in the world for a persimmon fruit variety and is recognized by the European Union
There are many ways to enjoy Persimon® fruits, wedges or slices which can be added to cereal, yogurt or ice cream or to make a sweet topping for a savoury salad. You could also make a chutney (like I have done) to enjoy with a meal or even a jam to be enjoyed on toast.
It is recommended that you store your Persimon® at room temperature in a bowl away from other fruit.
Persimon’® are only available in stores from about mid-November to mid-January at Metro and Sobey’s locations while they last, so be sure to pick some up the next time you’re in the store.
Now that you know all about the Persimon® fruit. How about I tell you my experience cooking with them? I was provided with a few recipes to try out and I opted to go for a full meal. I made Pork Chops with a Persimon® Chutney and it was soooo good. I got rave reviews from all the kids and my husband. And to top it all off other than the persimmons, I had most of the ingredients on hand already, so it made shopping really easy.
1TBSP Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Shallots, finely diced
3 TBSP Pine Nuts
2 Cups Persimon®, peeled and diced
2 TBSP Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Water
1 TSP Ginger, minced
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 TSP Ground Coriander
1/2 TSP Paprika
1/4 TSP Red Chili Flakes
1/2 TSP Salt
4 Bone-In Loin Pork Chops, cut 1-inch thick (I used loin chops, and turned it out fab!)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 TSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Get all your ingredients together by chopping/mincing the ginger, shallots and Persimon®.
In a small saucepan, add the olive oil and sauté the shallots on medium low heat until they are soft and translucent. Add the pine nuts and toss for about 4 minutes, until lightly toasted. Add the rest of the chutney ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the chutney is simmering, season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and add tsp of olive oil to the pan. Once that is heated, add the pork chops and sear for 5 minutes. Turn the chops over and brown well on the second side for about 10 minutes. Now add the Persimon® chutney and sprinkle with cilantro. Place a lid on the skillet and simmer on low for 5 more minutes. Serve, topping with the chutney as desired.
I served mine with a side of rice, green beans and broccoli.
So tell me, have you cooked with persimmons before? Did you enjoy them?