Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wild Persimmons After the First Frost

This summer, I discovered that we have a persimmon tree growing here at Aelfheim.  I've never eaten a persimmon, so I was delighted. After reading up on wild Missouri persimmons I learned that they are bitter and astringent if not fully ripe. Yes, I did try, I was anxious...whew, I don't recommend it, better to wait.  There is an old saying that persimmons aren't edible until after the first I waited.

Sunday night we were hit with an early snow and freezing temperatures. We didn't get as much snow as my friends in the east who can't get out their doors, but we got some snow.  I woke up this morning having been dreaming about eating persimmons, and I was time!

I bundled up and headed out, the snow was melting and slippery as I made my way down to the persimmon tree.  Wow! A lot of creatures of the forest had gotten to them already, no doubt many had fallen to the ground and were under the snow. Most of them were too far up for me to reach, but I managed to gather seven of them.  It's ok, it was mostly culinary curiosity and many of the wild birds rely on being able to forage for things like persimmons, elderberries and other wild plants, so I left most of them to the birds.  

Now there is nothing beautiful about a wild Missouri persimmon.  They are shriveled looking things.  But I forged forth, cut one in half and examined the fruit inside.  It was soft, gooey, sticky, doesn't really sound very good does it?  I grabbed a spoon and managed to scoop the pulp away from the bitter skin and popped it into my mouth...bliss! Wow, really delicious! It's flavor was sweet and buttery, like nature created the perfect candied fruit.  If the sweetest plum nature could make had a baby with a really moist date who's uncle was a pumpkin...maybe it would taste like a persimmon, it's really not like anything I've ever eaten.  Many people have seen Asian persimmons which are very pretty and look like little pumpkins, these aren't those persimmons.  But don't judge a book by it's cover. Ugly as it is to look at, the flavor is really a treat and there's something magical about picking something that grew in the wild and eating it!
They all look like knives don't they? Well....That's because I cut them the wrong way...what a NOOB! LOL You're supposed to split the seed along the seam apparently which I'm trying to do, but it's making me nervous because I don't want to slice my finger in the process... So I'll try later and update you on how that worked out. 

I couldn't pick persimmons and eat them without examining their seeds for a weather prediction.  There is a bit of folklore that says if you cut persimmon seeds in half you can find out what kind of winter you will have in your area.  If the white inside the seed looks like a knife it means cold and ice,  Spoon shaped means lots of snow, and a fork means a dry mild winter.

So, the persimmon has magical properties, like most plants do.  According to Ozarks folklore if you eat an unripe persimmon you will change your sex,  Now I wouldn't take this literally,  however it may be a bit of useful magic for someone going through a sex reassignment procedure to help you embrace the difficult changes with a little more ease, and even to use for magic to help others accept your true self.  I personally would use a ripe persimmon though, the intention would still be there, and dears, unripe persimmons are just nasty.  I love ya more than that! Other magical properties of the persimmon include healing, and good luck!

On the magic of persimmons, wait, there's more! In addition, I want to share a bit more information that the persimmon spoke to me of in my dream.  As it reminded me that it was waiting for me in the field, ripe and lovely, I was told a story of it's magical use.  It's story was one of our status and station in life.  How we accept our position and therefore agree to it.  The persimmon's magic gives us an opportunity to help us rise above where we are, daring to dream of our own life beyond the other peoples perception of us, stretching our abilities, and boosting our status in our work, community, and life in general.  If you want to "level up" in the game of life, try looking beyond what you thought was possible, try working some magic with the persimmon.  This is a little unassuming fruit that may not appear to be much upon initial inspection, but if we look deeper we discover something amazing in inner beauty that elevates it, delightful flavor, and even wisdom that lies within.



  1. Our persimmon trees are just loaded down! The deer and racoons love them. Yes, don't eat them before the first frost - they say it will pucker you up so bad that you can't speak - I personally havn't tried it. LOL Our's look like shovels - but they seem to every year here.

  2. I did try it, its like eating chalk soaked in battery acid, I do not recommend! LOL I bet you can make lots of good stuff if you have lots of ripe ones! Wonderful!

  3. I'm a little late the conversation but I have a question for you. :) Do you know if the Japanese variant has different magickal properties than those here in the US?


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