If you're a fan of the farmer's market or have a well-stocked and fairly adventurous grocery store near you, you may find yourself tempted by produce you have never quite seen before and have no idea what to do with.
Like, for example, the persimmon. They look like orange tomatoes, but have a flavor described as something like papaya, with spicy, flowery overtones to the sweetness. Wtch out, though...that sweetness only happens when they are perfectly soft and ripe; an under-ripe persimmon is not something you want to eat, ever. I've heard them described as "industrial strength cleaner" if you mistakenly bite into one when they are under-ripe.
They are, apparently, quite common in Indiana and the Ozark region of the United States but not something you see a lot elsewhere. Mitchell, Indiana even has a persimmon festival every year, with a cooking contest for best persimmon recipe. And some people think persimmon seeds can foretell winter weather. Um, get a good pair of boots, my fellow Midwesterners.
Health-wise, they're a good bargain, like most fruit. They range between 70-120 calories or so, depending on size and type, and are fairly high in Vitamin C and potassium. They're good in salsas, puddings, and baked goods of all types and the rounder, more pumpkin shaped ones are delicious eaten fresh.
Have you tried a persimmon? What do you think?