Posted by: Debra Kolkka | December 13, 2011

Strange fruit

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I know pomegranates, persimmons and clementines are not all that strange, but until recently I had not tried them. I’ve never really known what to do with pomegranates so I bought some and cut one open.

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Apart from looking gorgeous they make great juice and the seeds taste wonderful.

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I need to experiment with pomegranates. I will go through some of my recipe books for inspiration.

Persimmons, or cachi, as they are called in Italy, are just plain delicious. They need to be really ripe and quite soft to taste their best.

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Just cut them and eat them with a spoon. At Grom in Florence we tried cachi gelato. I could try that at home.

I wasn’t sure whether clementines would be tart like cumquats or sweet like mandarines. They are just like tiny mandarines and they smell heavenly.

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I haven’t seen clementines growing, but cachi and melograni are everywhere in autumn

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Pomegranates are left on trees everywhere. I wish I had a tree.

Cachi look amazing on their trees. As they ripen the leaves fall off the trees and the fruit cluster all over the bare tree.

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I have no idea why I have waited so long to try these delicious fruits. Any recipe suggestions will be gratefully received.


Responses

  1. Do not eat cachi before they are completely ripe, so soft to be eaten with a spoon, because in this case you will not like them…once ready they are very sweet…

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    • Once they are very soft they are delicious.

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  2. lovely photos! im a great fan of pomegranate, and always associate it with Xmas. Hate preparing them and thank God the supermarkets here in England now sell just the inside bit 😉

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    • I am still experimenting with pomegranates. They look so wonderful it seems a shame not to use them as much as possible.

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  3. They are hugely beloved of foodies here, as they make salads and starters look so pretty. They are reputedly full of anti oxidants, mega good for you etc etc. Ottolenghi’s recipes are full of them, scattered like jewels on aubergine dishes, and contrasting with goats cheese, a pleasing contrast on a plate of chacuterie, etc etc. We ate them in the bath as kids 🙂

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    • I like the sound of the seeds scattered over cheese – delicious!

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  4. just google. Ottolenghi pomegranate aubergine or look on his blog if you dont have one of his cookbooks. like dan lepard, his veggie recipes appear in the Guardian and on many foodie blogs.

    A couple of examples http://cookbookmaniac.com/recipes/roasted-eggplant-with-saffron-yoghurt-by-ottolenghi-2.html. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/jul/12/recipe.foodanddrink1

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    • Thank you for the link. The recipes look great

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  5. How funny-I tried persimmons for the fist time last month after noticing them everywhere! As we hiked around a hilltop town in Chianti the juices ran down my arm and face-we giggled like kids at how they tasted like cotton candy! Clemtines are a staple @ the holidays in our home because they smell so good in a bowl on the counter and easy for little kids to peel and eat too. Your pictures are great!

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    • I love seeing cachi growing and I am so pleased I have finally tried them.

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  6. They are all so nice dear Debra, for a long time, I cook my meat with orange juice, and also some of vegetables with olive oil… Pomegranates are one of the best fruits for our health… Especially for cancer… They say all red colours are so good. We drink, and we use for some of our desserts. And also we use it for salad… But it is pomegranate molasses! I am sure you can find there too. There is one of famous traditional salad in here, and I love it so much. So delicious and so easy. Tomatos, cucumbers, green pepper, onion and spring onion. You cut them very thin and little and if you wish you can add parsley too. Half lemon juice, two table spoon olive oil, and one table spoon pomegranate molassed and finally a cup of crumbled walnust… And salt… You mix them…. This is an amazing salad. And very healthy.
    Thank you, with my love, nia

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    • This salad sounds amazing! Thank you so much for the suggestion.

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  7. Some of my favourite fruits, Debra. Pomegranates are specially healthy for us, as it has been pointed out. They are the symbol for the Spanish city of Granada, as “granada” is Spanish for pomegranate. It was a fruit introduced by the Moors and it has become very popular.
    An easy way to de-seed them, when they are very ripe, cut them in half without peeling them and tap the back of the half pomegranate with a heavy spoon over a bowl. You will see the seeds falling out very clean and you will be left with the half pomegranate empty. You can use it as a small bowl to decorate a dish (lamb stewed with pomegranate seeds is superb!!!)

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    • I had no idea that Granada meant pomegranate!!! This would explain why there were symbols of pomegranates allo ver the city. We loved granada. I will definitely try your method of seed removal.

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  8. Lovely post. Again. I love them just as you’ve shown in the first photo. As art! Edible art; can’t beat that. I have some persimmons too, ripening in a bowl with a bed of hazelnuts and chestnuts, still in their ‘wooden’ coats, of course. Your loyal followers have given you plenty of creative ideas; seems to me there are two kinds of persimmon, slightly different in shape, one you eat when it’s very ripe and the other, earlier, when firm. Since I’m a bit ‘cloudy’ on this I’ll just say ‘buon appetito’ regardless of type…all of them, that you’ve featured, are simply beautiful and mysterious when you cut them open and reveal their inner beauty.

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    • I think these fruits look so beautiful and the bonus is that they are delicious as well.

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  9. In our very much like Italy climate in California we had persimmons and pomegranates all the time. Difficult to get in Idaho though. But we have awesome potatoes!

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    • We get them here in Australia too, but they are not common in Brisbane. Fortunately they are in Italy.

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  10. You might get jealous about it, but mandarines and cachis are very popular and common fruits in Brazil. We have them almost all year long, and very cheap.

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    • We get lots of mandarines in Australia, but I have not seen clementines here much.

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  11. The house I grew up in (Southern California) had a pomegranate tree in the back yard from which we would make jelly. Great taste, beautiful jewel-like color, but the juice stained worse than anything. I used to make persimmon pudding with a tart lemon sauce and looking at your beautiful pictures makes me think I really need to dig out that recipe.

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    • I can imagine that pomegranate juice would stain, it has such a strong colour.

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  12. I have had clementines – everyone eats them in France, but never pomegranates, persimmons or cachi. They all sound delicious and your photos are gorgeous as always!

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    • If you see pomegranates or cachi try them, you will be delighted I’m sure.

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  13. We love pomegranates at our house. When my partner Sara lived in Afghanistan, she says the seeds were a common snack she grew to love, so we keep them around.
    Kathy

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    • The seeds are delicious and I love the juice.

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  14. At the Imperial Hotel in Delhi when in season there is a hugh bowl of pomegranate seeds on the breakfast buffet. It looks decadent, and they are delicious.

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    • There are quite a lot of seeds in each pomegranate and the trees I see in Italy are laden with fruit. We don’t see them all that much in Brisbane.

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  15. and look at the wonderful colours of these fruits! c

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  16. what a funny looking tree with all that fruit and not a leaf to be seen. I’ve tried them, but don’t recall the taste must.
    For pomegranates, try a Persian Rice (or jewelled rice) recipe.

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    • The trees look amazing when all the leaves fall off and just the fruit is left.

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  17. My favourite way of eating Pomegranate…….Fresh from the Victoria Markets in Melbourne, wash, quarter them and eat them off a wooden board with chocolate and peppermint sticks…..the combination is sensational……..

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    • I will have to track down some pomegranates here and try this.

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  18. Lovely photos – as always. I love pomegranate seeds but don’t know how to extract them. A couple of times I year I splurge and buy a container of the seeds that have already been taken from the fruit. Should just go ahead and learn how to do it!

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    • I just spooned them out, but take a look at Mulino’s comments below for an excellent suggestion.

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  19. I wish i had been there to see the persimmon tree covrred in fruit! I had one likr that in brisbane but the new owners of my house chopped it down (sob)

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    • You should plant another.I wonder how fast growing they are. I would like to plant one in Vergemoli.

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  20. Debra – I have put pomegranate seeds in green salads. Also we can just buy the seeds over here. saves a lot of work. Also I have used pomegranate juice in many recipes. They are very plentiful here at Xmas.

    Merry Xmas to you

    Pam Proctor

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    • There were lots in Italy as well. I will have to look for some here. Merry Christmas to you.

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  21. These pictures are mouthwatering! I don’t like cachi at all, yuck. When I first arrived in Sardinia my husband and I went out for a walk and I noticed a funny looking tree and said to my husband: That’s a strange tomato tree, why are there tomatoes growing on a tree. Tomatoes grow on trees in Italy? wow. He laughed and laughed then picked a plump cachi for me to try. The slimy slippery disk things are just not for me.

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    • The first time I saw cachi nearly 40 years ago I thought they were tomatoes too. I like the flavour, but I wouldn’t eat them every day. They make excellent gelato.

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  22. I know what to do with pomegranates but not with persimmons! Apart from eat them of course! 😛

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    • Try making ice cream. Grom did a great job on theirs.

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  23. yes amazing fruits. we usually eat them plain. but once i tried the persimmon in a smoothie. it turned out great.

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  24. i mix the pomegranate seeds with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and cherries…macerate…mix with couple of drops of rosewater or orange blossom water and heap on top of a freshly made pavlova with heaps of cream! YUM!!!

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  25. Coles at New Farm sell punnets of pomegranate seeds during the season. I put them in salads and they are also great in tagines. The pomegranate molasses can be bought at the James Street Market and they are useful in Middle Eastern recipes. Gorgeous photos Deb.

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    • I saw a pomegranate today. It was $6. I will look for the molasses, thanks.

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  26. The colors are gorgeous!! I love pomegranates..don’t think I’ve ever actually tasted persimmons before..but – now – I’m going to have to!

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    • Make sure it is really ripe. The fruit needs to be really soft.

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