What is a Persimmon #2 (oils)

Oil on panel, 6″x8″ (Larger)
(painted on top of a small plein air landscape that didn’t work)

At my favorite little produce market, Colusa Foods in Kensington, I asked one of the expert produce guys which fruits were good right now. He recommended Satsuma tangerines and Persimmons. I’d never eaten either of these fruits and decided to give them a try. The tangerine was amazingly delicious, tasting like childhood favorites Creamsicles (orange popsicles filled with vanilla ice cream) and Orange Julius (an orange-flavored milkshake). But the persimmon perplexed me.

What is a Persimmon #1 (watercolor)

Watercolor on cold pressed paper, 5″x7″ (Larger)

I’d never eaten a persimmon before, didn’t know how to spell it let alone how it should be eaten or what it would taste like. Of course I checked the internet and learned that one peels it and then eats the inside. From what I read it sounded like the inside might be mushy, which didn’t sound too appealing but it felt pretty hard from the outside. I had no idea what I’d find when I cut into it. I decided to make it an adventure, first doing some paintings of the persimmon whole (above in oils and watercolor) and then painting the cut open fruit.

What is a Persimmon #3 (watercolor)

Watercolor on cold pressed paper, 5″x7″ (Larger)

I cut the top off, per the instructions I found and then cut it down the middle, hoping for a pretty seed pattern. Unfortunately I cut it on the wrong middle and the only thing visible was a faint line down the center. So I cut it in half the other way and discovered a beautiful sand dollar sort of design. But since I’d cut it the other way first I didn’t think it would make a great composition so I decided to eat one of the quarters. YUM!!!! It was sweet and crunchy and different — a new taste entirely! The only way I can describe is that it tastes happy and bright. I just ate the last quarter, leaving the skin on, and that was OK too–more like eating an apple only better. Wowee.

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Category:
Oil Painting, Painting, Sketchbook Pages, Still Life, Watercolor

Join the conversation! 20 Comments

  1. Ooh, Jana! Persimmons are delicious when ripe.Unripe, they are the most acidic teeth-on-edge thing in the world. I’m glad you got a nice ripe (possibly non-acidic variety) introduction.
    And now, plant the seed! The fall leaves are glorious.If the tree would be too big for your yard, you could keep it in a pot.
    Another quirky fact: I am told that even acidic varieties are edible if put in the freezer, unpeeled. Once thawed, the flesh is yummy. Damn! Now I want one and they’re out of season!

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  2. Jana, it sounds as though your fruit was a non-acidic hybrid, with no seed. I know some growers now propagate by cuttings to avoid sour throw-backs.

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  3. Hi Diane,
    Uh oh…I didn’t see a seed. I ate everything except the top. In my research I did see articles that said things like “Pucker Up, Persimmons are in Season” but this was sweet as could be. I hate sour things — even strawberries will make me pucker up if they’re not super sweet, so I’m glad this was so good. I guess we’re in opposite seasons, since they are in season here.
    Jana

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  4. Harking back to your watercolours…yours remind me a lot of Nancy Tichborne’s (below)

    http://www.watercolours.co.nz/

    Now I’ll get off your page and leave you in peace!

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  5. Diane, I’m humbled by the comparison! Her work is absolutely stunning. Thanks so much for the link to her website. The light and beauty in Nancy Tichborne’s paintings are amazing and her garden is die for — what an inspiration!

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  6. Jana, I love both these paintings! Your oil work is beautiful, rich and luscious and I enjoy seeing your progress and your stamp you are putting on it with each oil you publish. And your watercolour is just so …”Jana”. I adore your watercolours, they are juicy and have a life and energy of their own. Even your leftovers have the same charisma!Which colours did you use for your WC persimmon?
    ronell

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  7. Very interesting fruit, this persimmon. I’ve never heard of it… maybe we don’t get them here in tropical Malaysia!

    I love your watercolours!

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  8. Mmm, my mouth is watering from the juicy colours and that description! I love discovering something new, don’t you? I’ll have to try these.

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  9. Jana! I can’t believe you haven’t tasted a persimmon before!! Oh MERCY! They are my favorites!!!! One of my students’ parents grow these delectable orbs — but the late freeze got them this year and I’ve been longing for some! WE did find a few in Florida — 2 different varieties — and I brought them home to savor! Aren’t they grand?!! And cara, your paintings are incredible!! I can’t believe you actually held off eating it once you opened the fruit — to paint! Wonder woman! GREAT JOB on the paintings, Jana — I find them particularly challenging — don’t know why — but yours show the absolute lusciousness of the persimmon in all its orange splendor!

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  10. These are beautiful! Wonderful bright colors.

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  11. Jana, these just glow! I’m so glad you decided to paint the persimmon before eating it – such self control!

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  12. Jana,

    These are wonderful. So vibrant and fresh. I love the oil!!

    The way you’ve described them makes we want o give them a try!

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  13. gorgeous paintings! your oil makes me long to crack open the turpentine… and i am going to HAVE to find one of those Satsuma tangerines. Like a Creamsicle? YUM!

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  14. Nicely done — and I discoverede persimmons a couple of years ago, but I eat the skin and all! A bit chewy but far less trouble than peeling…

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  15. We get tangerines here, but not persimmons – used to eat them in Pakistan, though — they’re WONDERFUL, as long as they’re ripe. I think of them as relatives of tomatoes. Delightful, and so are your paintings.

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  16. Jana–

    We grew up with tons of persimmon trees and always had lots of the fruit up here in Auburn. Mom would make wonderful persimmon cookies. I always hated the bother of eating the fruit whole. As kids, we used to go around trying to jam the peels in the mouths of others so they could enjoy the “ugly puckering effect”. Nice kids, huh?

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  17. soft persimmons….good for baking cookies…firm fuji ones good cut up with some lemon juice and salt! Your colors as always so vibrant that I had too look at the table top where the mac screen sits on to see if it had an orange puddle on it! They drip with life….I love your work!!!

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  18. Wow, what a gorgeous oil painting! It captures all of the color and beauty of the fruit and placing it in the corner of the grayish box somehow gives the painting one of those ‘bringing beauty to a lonely place’ feelings.

    so fun to hear a blow by blow account of you discovering my favorite fruit! I buy them by the big bagfuls at the farmer’s market this time of year. The Fuyu type persimmon is what you fortunately ate, not the other variety that has to be mushy. Mostly around here you only find the Fuyus in the stores. I have a little tree that I am pampering, hopefully next year I will be rewarded with a small crop of my own.

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  19. You should consider planting a persimmon tree – they aren’t large and the fruits are beautiful as well as the autumn leaves. My Dad has the eat mushy variety – he pours on orange liquer – which I think is all he can probably taste. Such a beautiful, vibrant piece you have achieved.

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  20. I like your persimmon painted in oils. It’s kind of alive.

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