Persimmons contain very high levels of soluble tannins which make the unripened fruit quite unpalatable. The tannins can also combine with stomach acids to produce a "foodball" (called a phytobezoar), which can be medically dangerous. Needless to say, I never consumed enough of the unripe persimmon to present any problem.
|Persimmon Tree at Ocracoke Methodist Church|
Persimmon trees are relatively common on the Outer Banks. The following recipe was printed in the Spring, 1974 issue of Sea Chest.
Collect persimmons after frost has hit them and they are soft. Cook as any fruit and push through a colander. One cup of fruit is needed for the pudding mix.
1 3/4 cups of sifted flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Cream shortening and add sugar gradually. Beat eggs and add spice. Add flour and milk to sugar mixture, beating after each addition until smooth. Add the persimmon pulp.
Pour into a greased pan and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 35 to 45 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or a lemon sauce.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a 1910 article about waterfowl hunting. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102114.htm.