Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Flavor Trends for 2009: Persimmon

I am always fascinated with food trends, and love to experiment with new foods, new flavors. I find that I get "stuck" with a set of foods and flavors that are familiar, easy, and comfortable. I recently read that Mintel, the consumer, media and market research company, tallied the top food and flavor trends for 2009. They list the top seven trends which include the following:

1. Persimmon
2. Starfruit
3. Lavender
4. Cactus
5. Chimichurri
6. Peri-Peri
7. Masala

Clearly, we are looking forward to exciting, dynamic, exotic flavors! After seeing this list, I immediately went online to find recipes and references to help me understand these flavors and foods, and am so excited to share that information with you! I will spotlight each trend, with a recipe or two that I recommend. Please feel free to bookmark and/or follow this blog so you can get a great snapshot of all seven in the weeks to come. I also welcome any recipes for persimmon that you would love to share.

#1 Persimmon: What is a persimmon, what does it taste like?

Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color and vary in shape from round, to acorn-shaped to a more squat pumpkin shape. The taste of the persimmon is typically compared to that of an overly sweet apricot with a smooth, slippery texture.

There are two most common kinds of persimmons: The Fuyu, the kind you can eat right away, and the Hachiya, the kind you cannot! Persimmons not only have an exceptional flavor, they are also rich with important nutrients such as beta-carotene, Vitamin C and potassium!

Both of my recommended persimmon recipes are from These recipes would be fantastic for Holiday meals! I also want to experiment with persimmons in holiday tabletop displays, as persimmons are so gorgeous in hue, shape and texture and would make for an amazing organic centerpiece!

(how incredibly gorgeous for any special Holiday gathering!)

Persimmon Cranberry Sauce

Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Active time: 15 min
Total time: 15 min
Note: The bright, tender fruit of Fuyu persimmons mellows the intensity of cranberries while lending this sauce a beautiful jewel-like hue. Using Fuyus, which can be eaten hard or soft, removes the guesswork of finding ripe fruit.

• 3/4 lb fresh or frozen cranberries (3 1/2 cups)
• 1/4 cup dry red wine
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1/2 star anise or 1/4 teaspoon star-anise pieces
• 1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar
• 3 firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons (about 1 lb total), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

Bring cranberries, wine, water, star anise, 1/2 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add more sugar, to taste (up to about 2 1/2 tablespoons), and discard star anise. Fold in persimmons.
Transfer to a bowl and serve at room temperature or chilled. Stir gently before serving.
Cooks' note: Cranberry sauce, without persimmons, can be made 4 days ahead and chilled, covered. Fold in persimmons before serving.

(This salad represents wonderful fall colors AND flavors!)

Salad of Fall Greens with Persimmons and Hazelnuts

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings

• 3/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
• 1 tablespoon grated tangerine peel
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil or walnut oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 head escarole (about 11 ounces), torn into 2-inch pieces (about 12 cups)
• 1 large bunch watercress, stemmed (about 6 cups)
• 1 5-ounce bag mixed baby greens
• 2 Fuyu persimmon, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skin rubbed off

Boil tangerine juice and tangerine peel in heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Whisk in next 5 ingredients. Season dressing with pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewhisk before using.)
Place all greens and half of persimmon slices in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates. Top each with remaining persimmon slices and hazelnuts and serve.

Visit to find a caterer, personal chef or restaurant that features unique, exotic flavor trends that include persimmon and so many more!

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