Persimmons – The Perfect Fruit

I mentioned earlier how much I love persimmons. I have a November birthday so I would often get persimmons as gifts when I was younger. Instead of writing a blog entry I thought I would share with you a short article I wrote for a writing class in 2012. It says everything I want to anyway. I wrote it for a target audience for age 9 – teens. It would be something I would send to a kids’ magazine. This is the first time I am sharing a piece of my writing with the public. Give me some constructive criticism if you would like. Thank you.


            When you go into an American grocery store, there is always a special section of produce that contains alien looking fruit and vegetables.  Jicama, star fruit, horned melon and other interesting food hang out together like a motley crew of outsiders.  When you look at the persimmon it seems oddly out of place.  One may say it looks like a tomato. What’s so special about that? 
            The Persimmon is a fantastic food that is really a berry.  There are two kinds that are most popular.  The Hachiya is a deep orange acorn shape and is mushy or pulpy when ripe.  It’s so juicy you might need to eat it with a spoon. The Fuyu is a light orange round with a flat bottom which is crunchier and firmer.  You can slice it and eat it like an orange.  
The Korean word for persimmon is Gam – which rhymes with Tom.   Growing up in Korea as a child, I ate a fair share of persimmons.  October and November was when persimmons were most abundant.  Having a November birthday meant lots of Gam for my birthday!  Lucky for me, I could not get enough of the juicy, sticky, honey-sweet taste of my favorite fruit.  
            It wasn’t until I became an adult that I discovered persimmons were also fabulously good for me.  Persimmons are rich in potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A.  It also is a B complex and contains C, E, K, Iron, fiber and is low in calories.  It turns out that persimmon is the perfect fruit.  Not only is it delicious fresh, you can also dry it.  Since the season is so short, Koreans dry and press Gam into flat disks.  It’s drier than a prune but still chewy and sweet.  You can eat the dried persimmon as a snack or use it to make a Korean dessert punch called sujeong-gwa which uses spicy ginger and cinnamon.  It is a natural acid reflux and nausea reducer.  Dessert is not usually served with Korean meals but this punch is often served after large feasts.
            Gam is so revered in Korea that it even appears in many folk tales.  The Buddist also use it as a symbol of transformation.   A persimmon is very green and bitter at first representing immaturity and ignorance.  If allowed to ripen, it becomes golden orange and very sweet which represents maturity and wisdom.  It’s no surprise then to see persimmon trees in the gardens of many homes and Buddhist temples.  There is a belief that the tree is symbolic of four virtues: long life, shade, homes for birds and they do not harbor pests.  It’s no wonder some people call Gam the fruit of the Gods.
A Persimmon tree in Korea –
Korean dried Persimmon – photo by Maangchi

Published by bridgey1967

Loyal. Funny. Sensitive. Loving.

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