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Monday, 16 January 2017

The lotus fruit

In Greece this fruit is called the Lotus fruit.  Elsewhere you know them as persimmon ( or have never heard of them at all).



According to Wikipedia these are considered to be berries.  Damn big berries


Neighbour Vaso came in for a smoke and a raki and brought us a bag of lotus-es/lotoi
 They can only be eaten when really soft and ripe, are not very sweet and are sort of slimy. If you try them before they're ripe they are tart and stick to the roof of your mouth. Not nice.


I peeled two and ate them but next time I think I'll cut the top off and eat it with a teasppon.  This is not a fruit I would buy but when you're given them then they must be used one way or another.

The name persimmon means food of the Gods.  The lotus eaters turn up in Greek mythology.  Odysseus on his return from Troy was blown to the island of  the lotus eaters.  Some of his crew ate the fruit and a dreamy laziness and forgetfulness came over them.  They had to be dragged back to the ship and tied up till they slept off the effects of the lotus fruit.

The persimmon I ate did not put me into a drugged, indolent state but I wouldn't have minded if it had at this time of a very cold winter.  Once again no one else wants to eat them so I'll have to finish them all by myself or make jam which no-one else will eat.  

Vaso stayed for a little more than one raki and a smoke.
Mind you, she was talking most of the time. Vaso knows everyone. She knows their family lineage. It is amazing how many of the people on the island she is related to or bound to by koumbaria (being godparent or  best man/woman at a marriage). You have to be careful not to gossip about anyone, they could be family.
The stories of her tough childhood are endless. At seven years old she was working

to help put bread on the family table, gathering greens from miles away to sell on the waterfront, washing and cleaning for a neighbour. 
The most interesting thing I  learnt was that only the front feet of the goat are used for soup. 
78 year old Vaso drank us all under the table and walked home a lady  4 hours later, stumbling only a little as she tottered up the hill.


Cheers, Big-Ears



17 comments:

  1. We had here a presimmon tree (Afarsemon in Hebrew), the fruit have never ripened on the tree,only in the house covered in the dark for weeks.

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    1. Afarsemon.....I like to hear these words in Hebrew!
      Don't worry it is not a tasty fruit. Vaso brought us another bag and I will have to make jam. I do not like the persimmon very much!

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  2. I planted a persimmon tree last year. But after the paddock flooded it died. It was a variety that is good to eat straight from the tree. I might try again and plant one in a huge pot.
    You just cannot buy them here regular. And when you do find them they are very very expensive.
    Would love to talk to your elderly neighbour. Her stories would be amazing

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    1. There are two kinds of persimmon and these are the seconds I reckon. They have to be really really ripe, almost rotten before they taste...OK. someone needs to record Vaso's tales. Her generation is dying out but they seem invincible

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  3. I tried persimmon once. I must not have timed it properly because I did not enjoy it at all. It had a weird affect on my mouth. -Jenn

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    1. Exactly! A couple I have tried which seemed nice and soft were terrible.....astringent is not the word for it, they sort of numb your mouth.

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  4. The Persimmon one buys in the shops are delicious; I find them similar to Mango. The ones grown in nearby gardens are inedible. I wouldn't bother planting a tree, there's always a lot of clearing up to do when they all drop.

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    1. There are two kinds of persimmon apparently and they both look exactly the same. The other one you can eat while firm and add to salads and slice it. These ones have to be just about rotten before they taste pleasant.

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  5. from your Greek myth could the fruit have been so rotten it had fermented and made them drunk?

    They are also called Sharon fruit, on googling it, it is apparently because there is a place in Israel it is named after.

    could you make a curd out of it, like lemon curd? Or maybe with a pavalova and cream, the taste would be balanced?

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    1. Interesting thought Sol. I wonder. Often there is a simple explanation for these myths. I wonder where the name persimmon came from, and Sharon fruit. I should have done some more googling before I wrote that post.
      I could love them to make a nice curd but somehow I think they would curdle the curd lol. I still have a dozen sitting on the bench slowly rotting. I really can't see why the lotus eaters loved them so much. Must have been drunk or drugged.
      Tomorrow I must do something with them or chuck them.

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  6. Here, in Spain, the persimmon goes by the rather unattractive name of Kaki. A friend has several trees in her garden and always brings us bags of the things when they are in season. We have politely tried saying that we don't like them but still they come. No-one else seems to like them either, so we just have to dump them - something I hate doing.
    We have snow this morning, very rare indeed, and we thought we'd escaped the worst of the weather !

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    1. France and Spain seem to be getting the Arctic blasts we had last week. This is turning out to be a very cold winter. The mice knew. We had our first invasion before Xmas....fortunately we, eventually, found the hole and solved that problem.
      I'm like you, hate having to throw them away but even the jam and chutney aren't particularly nice.

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    2. PS kaki....yet another name. I can understand where that one came from even if it is Spanish. Kaki means bad in greek lol

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  7. It's what you knows, big nose. That's the answer to cheers, big ears.

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  8. You're a fount of knowledge Dave! I knew there was a second line but couldn't for the life of me remember it. Thanks

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  9. Hello. I popped over from another blog. I have to say persimmon is one of my favourite fruits. We used to call theme Sharon fruit in the UK but there was a campaign to give them their proper name. It wasn't fair on Sharons.

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    1. Lol. There are so many different persimmon apparently....these are the most astringent and are almost rotten before they're right....Sharon's or kakis or lotus, I am slowly eating thru the things

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