Now that we live in a globalized society where you can pretty much buy any fruit any time of year you want, I guess making a Winter fruit salad isn’t too terribly exciting (though good luck finding a persimmon in June). However, even in the fall/winter season, it is not accessible at all markets, and I’m sure many of your non-Asian friends have probably never even tried one before, so this fruit salad is definitely both a conversation-starter and crowd-pleaser.
For those of you that haven’t tried a persimmon before, it is incredibly sweet, and it has both a crunch and a softer interior. To be honest, it can feel slimy and the cutting process reminded me of pumpkin because of the stringiness with the skin, but it is definitely worth trying. Mixed with the more acidic tones of pomegranate, and you have a nicely balanced combination that even looks festive!
I have quite an emotional attachment to pomegranate because I distinctly remember the first time I tried the exotic fruit was also the first time I was introduced to Greek mythology, Persephone, and Hades. More recently, I recall having a freshly pressed pomegranate juice (or two) every day I was in Istanbul (let me tell you that POM is nowhere close to being the same). However, as I was preparing the pomegranate, all I can think about was how intimate the experience was. Because of its bright colors and the abundance of seeds, I could not help but think of ovaries. Yes, the fruit and the seeds are an ovary of a plant, but this concept is exceptionally pronounced in a pomegranate, which is probably why it acts as a symbol of fertility and abundance in many cultures around the world including Greek, Islam, Persian, and Chinese, to name a few. It is also debated that the fruit of knowledge was perchance a pomegranate and not an apple, and in Christianity, portrayals of pomegranates are associated with the passion and resurrection of Christ.
Persimmon- high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber
Pomegranate- packed with antioxidants, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber
Other Winter fruits: clementines, red grapes, cranberries, pomelo, star fruit, grapefruit, Korean pears
Pomegranate and Persimmon Winter Fruit Salad
1. With the persimmon upside down, cut it into quarters. Then peel off the skin and cut each quarter into halves or thirds, depending on the size. Do this for all the persimmon. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Cut the pomegranate in half gently and pull at the edges to loosen the seeds. Flip it upside down in a bowl and knock on the pomegranate with a large spoon. All the seeds will magically fall into the bowl.
3. Toss lightly.
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Linda Y. Yung is a die-hard New Yorker working towards a career in dietetics with lofty goals of improving the American diet. She is a proud double Jumbo at Tufts University, having received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and her Master of Science in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. Linda can also be described as any of the following: aspiring jet-setter, amateur tai chi master, or a hopelessly addicted NBA fanatic. She can be reached at lettucespoon.blogspot.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.