I love when I get to try new fruits and I try to always share the experience with you. If you haven’t seen my past fruit explorations check them out here: (International Fruits!! & International Fruits 2). Today we have four new fruits to explore: golden berries, kiwano melon, and two very different kinds of persimmon.
I have had golden berries before but they are hard to come across in the United States. I was able to pick up the last box at my organic market for this post. I first came across golden berries when the school bus of children I was with in Costa Rica were passing a bag of them around. I then came across them again when traveling in Ecuador and studying cacao with Dame Cacao. Golden berries were being dried and added to the chocolate as a flavoring. They taste a little sour and their texture is similar to raspberries and blackberries due to the seeds inside. You can dry them, eat them fresh, or add them to a variety of preparations like smoothies. I find these interesting because even after washing them they are slightly sticky on the outside. *If you are going to dry them in the oven I recommend between 150-200 degrees F. At 250 the sugars started to burn*
I have also had kiwano melon before but it has been a while so I wanted to play with one again. It is super easy to cut open and eat. You can choose to eat the seeds or not. The seeds have a texture similar to the shell of pumpkin seeds. The flesh tastes like a very ripe banana and is similar in texture to the inside of a grape. I think these are great fruits for someone who like’s to be always snacking. Like gum or sunflower seeds, it keeps your mouth busy if you are removing the seeds with your teeth.
The photos above are what most people think of when the hear of a persimmon. This is a fuyu persimmon and is squashed flat with the shape of a tomato. It does not have tannins in it so it is not dry or bitter when not yet ripe. It can be sliced and eaten similar to a tomato. The fuyu persimmon I bought had a very thick skin so I chose not to eat the skin but it is edible.
I also got to try a hachiya persimmon. As far as translations have been helpful, this I believe is the same persimmon that was reserved just for the King in Korea back in the day. They are very astringent if you eat them when they are not ripe yet but as soon as they are ripe they are amazing! They have a texture between a ripe peach and a mango. I enjoyed this one so much when photographing it I finished eating the half while shooting rather than saving it for later. Delicious-would buy again. Just make sure they are ripe or you will not enjoy the experience.
*The names fuyu and hachiya are most likely Japanese in origin but these persimmons grow over the whole world now including in the USA.*
I hope this has encouraged you to try some new fruits this winter. Remember winter in the USA means that other parts of the world are having their summer and other fruits may be available that you are not used to. Let me know what new delicious fruits you are trying.
Jillian Carnrick, founder and manager of The Dancing Herbalist, has a Masters of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine, practices as a nutritionist, and is a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Is Medicine Professional through the American College of Sports Medicine. The Dancing Herbalist posts on this blog every Thursday. For more of our posts, join us on Patreon. Jillian also presents regular live classes in The Dancing Herbalist’s home herbalist courses online. For more learning opportunities or to work one-on-one with Jillian with her wellness and herbal consultationsvisit The Dancing Herbalist.com.