A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My friend from Guyana says....

8pm. I was freezing my toes off in the office. Both restaurants were ticking over nicely so I decided to go home to snuggle up in front of the telly.

The car outside temperature gauge said 3 degrees. It felt more like zero! I turned on the magic seat heater and drove to Asda to buy… a book! Yes, it is the only place that is open 24 hours a day and it stocks bestsellers!
The slow death of the independent booksellers!

As I walked through the vegetable department the persimmons jumped at me. A lady was feeling them gently. She looked like she knew what she was doing.

"How do you choose them?” I asked. “A friend of mine from Guyana said they're beautiful but I know nothing about them. How do you choose them?"
“They have to be firm! These are from Israel!” she answered with a slight foreign accent.
“And where are you from?”
“I am from Israel, that's how I know!”
For a second, it crossed my mind that Persimmons could go a long way in promoting peace in the Middle East!

“Nice to meet you.” I said, “So what do you do with these persimmons, then?”
“You wash them first and then you just eat them! They are beautifully sweet!”

I bagged four fruit, thanked the woman and proceeded to buy a book.

As soon as I got into the car, I got one of the fruit out of the bag, rubbed it against my jacket front the way they do in films and then in total darkness, I bit into the sweetest fruit I have ever tasted! Heaven!

When I got home, as I placed the persimmons in the fruit basket I spotted that they all had a sticker on.

I realised that in my haste to taste the nectar in the dark, I had eaten the label. Tasted ok!

Thank you, my friend in Guyana, GG! This has been a revelation!

I borrowed the photo from Wegmans.com



Blogger andrea said...

Just wanted to say that I love how you use colour and size to make art from your words in your blog posts. Maybe I should steal the idea... :)

17/11/05 11:51 PM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

another great story. I always learn from you. Persimmons are cute beautiful!

17/11/05 11:57 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Andrea, it came to me one evening after too much red wine. I use colours to emphasize the direction of the post... Red wine, Ahhhh....

Val, if you think you can learn from me, you don't have much left to learn at all but I am honoured!
Anyone who says they have learnt everything knows nothing really.

18/11/05 11:15 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Your friend in Guyana says persimmons are better than mangoes!!!!!!

See, even the sticky label is delicious!

Yes, I keep meaning to tell you I like how you use colours with this dot template, it looks alive and warm and all cosy-restauranty.

Now everybody, go eat a persimmon today.

18/11/05 2:21 PM  
Blogger Shyha said...

So I have to search for them in local stores (aaargh stores in my neighbourhood are very badly supplied in such 'strange' food or spices)...

Cream, you seem like you're a bit taoistic :)

18/11/05 5:26 PM  
Blogger cream said...

GG, you are right there about the Persimmons. Delicious!
As for the colours, you know how I detest dull stuff!
Shyha, I have called all sorts in my life but Taoistic, never! Simple life, you're kidding!

18/11/05 6:49 PM  
Blogger Julie Oakley said...

You know when you buy that one exotic fruit for the first time and the one you buy is a dud and it puts you off forever? Well that's what happened to me and persimmons - I seem to remember an indifferent vaguely sweet taste and a texture that felt like segments of jelly with wa-ay too much gelatine in it.

But then I'm still trying to convince my children about guavas. The ones you get here smell something like the wonderful wild ones I used to eat - but they taste of nothing *sigh*.

18/11/05 9:27 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Julie, I am really glad I met that Israeli lady otherwise I might have chosen a soft one and the same thing might have happened to me.
You'll have to give them another try and see.
I am still a little ignorant about guavas and how you're supposed to choose them.

18/11/05 9:40 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

To choose a guava you pick it off the tree...hahaha, I couldn't resist that one. Guavas grow here.

The skin must be firm but soft. Thin skin guava is usually sourrrr, ewww.

If the skin is thick, soft but firmish, and the guava smell is high, that's it, you got a good one. I hope.

Too many guavas will make you need Brooklax or Phillips Milk of Magnesia.

Yes, that Israeli lady was lovely.

18/11/05 11:30 PM  
Blogger Shyha said...

No, I'm not joking :)
This sentence: "Anyone who says they have learnt everything knows nothing really" is one of the Lao-tse's (or whatever translation of his name is) thoughts :)

18/11/05 11:54 PM  
Blogger cream said...

Shyha, I never knew Lao-Tse had said that! So I must be a wise guy or is it just that I am old enough to know the truth! Thanks!

GG, I am sure that your instructions on how to choose a guava will come in handy next time I go to Asda or end up in a Guyanese back garden! Ta!!!

19/11/05 12:00 AM  
Blogger Viking054 said...

That's it-- I'm going on a persimmon hunt! And I want mangoes and guavas too!

19/11/05 12:29 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Actually, Viking, the Persimmon hunting season is closed but you can still get them from your local greengrocers!

19/11/05 12:49 AM  
Blogger iluvnyc said...

interesting... that's 1 fruit that i don't think i've tried before... you think i can buy it from any regular grocery store??? i really have to try this :D since guyana-gyal said that it tasted better than mango :D

thanks for the info, guys...

19/11/05 3:16 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

There are two kinds of persimmons with important differences.

There is one that is roundish without much point at the end, that sounds like the one you described - you can eat it crisp like an apple.

But there is another, an American persimmon (that to my eye looks more like the pics you posted) that can't be eaten until its dead ripe and soft. When it is REALLY soft (but still orange, not yet turning brown) you can cut off the top and eat it from the shell with a spoon. Or you can throw it in your freezer, as is, and thaw and eat later. slippery-slippery, sweet and lovely. Both types thrive here in California - and I have 3 of the american kind right now, looking decorative in a bowl as they ripen.

eat it early and you'll pucker up like there isn't a tooth left in your mouth.

19/11/05 6:07 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Iluvnyc, this is a revelation to me too!
Hayden, thank you very much for your "How to eat a Persimmon."
The Israeli lady said that they had to be firm and they did taste very sweet but they were like an apple!
I will look for the American type (picture) and deal with it the same as you suggested!
I will make it a mission to learn as much as I can so that I can incorporate Persimmons somewhere in our menus!
Great Stuff! Thanks!

19/11/05 9:22 AM  

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