I love buying weird food that I don't know how to use.
My parents did this as much as possible when I was young (though living in a town of 1000 is slightly limiting), and through my grandfather's cooking, I was always being exposed to different stuff. Now that I have kids of my own, I want to make sure that they grow up appreciating a variety of foods, from different cultures.
Plus--it's fun for me. I like to think of this as stay-at-home-mom continuing education. A google search always yields recipes I can't wait to try. Most of the odd stuff I buy comes from Azure: parsnips; dulse (seaweed flakes); adzuki beans; millet; plum vinegar; and now, when I saw persimmons last week, I figured, "Why not?"
And now, I have to figure out what to do with them. They're sitting in the middle of the kitchen island, lest I forget about them, stashed away somewhere. Every time he sees them, Danny asks me, "Mommy, can we eat the persimmons yet?"
No, we can't. Azure sent me Hachiya persimmons, which fall under the "soft-ripe, astringent" persimmon label; there are also "firm-ripe, non-astringent" varieties. We have to wait until the persimmons feel "like a water balloon" before they're ripe, and therefore not nasty tasting. The other kind can be eaten just like an apple.
All the recipes I've found for the Hachiya persimmons are mainly for baking, which is ok with me! I did see in a few places that some people like to eat the liquidy-pulp inside the skin, or freeze it as a sort of sorbet; we'll probably do that with one, just to get the full on, unadulterated persimmon flavor! The others...I have plans. The James Beard's Amazing Persimmon Bread and Persimmon Oatmeal Cookies are at the top of the list.
Now to wait for the ripening. I will be updating with how they turn out!
As a bonus, you can predict your winter with persimmon seeds!