Monday, 31 October 2011

What's in a name????

How many of you have seen this fruit??? Eaten this fruit????

I had some for the 1st time a week back and it tasted terrible. Then I had some from the same basket around 2 days back and it tasted quite good.

What’s with the change of heart you are wondering????
Even if you are not…wondering I mean, I simply have to tell you.

I’ll start at the beginning.
A very good place to start.
When you read you begin you begin with ABC….

Fine, fine I’ll get on with it.

Every year our church celebrates something called the Harvest Festival. Back in the olden days when our forefathers were farmers and grew everything they needed from the earth they dedicated a day at church where they would give to God a portion of their fruits of labour. The Harvest Festival reminds Christians of all the blessings God gives them. And the idea is to share them with others who are not so fortunate. The day was also spent singing, prayer and giving thanks to God.

Cut to the present. All the above still happens but there is a carnival-like touch to the whole thing. The fruits of labour which we give the church is generally picked up from the supermarket and auctioned off at 3-4 times the actual price & the proceeds go to charity. The women organise the food stalls & the delicacies sell like hot cakes & the money goes to the needy. Not to be left out the youth install game-booths which again makes a lot of money and the proceeds….you get the drift, right.

Coming back to what I wanted to talk about…..the fruit in the picture. The auctioner holds a crate of this fruit high for everybody to take a good look at it & announces the fruit name & price & I was like what fruit did he say it was????

“Its called the kaaka fruit!!!” says cousin who was with me, very helpfully.

“What kind of fruit is that??? ” I ask.

“It’s very different, very tasty” she tempts me.

I had already picked up boxes of blackberries and mangosteen & thought I was done. Curiousity won.

So we join the circle of bidders once again. After some good-natured competitive bidding we bag the crate of kaaka fruit. They were bright orange in colour and looked just like tomatoes but with a thicker stem.

"Kaaka fruit, what a funny name Mama" say the kids eyeing the fruit doubtfully. I so badly wanted to agree with them.

When we reached home I cut a bowl of fruit and placed it on the table. The blackberries & mangosteen were so delicious it disappeared off the plate within minutes but the kaaka fruit remained. The kids made  faces when asked the reason. I tentatively tasted it. On the surface it tasted okay but a sort of bitter taste  followed & filled my mouth.

I went back to the kitchen and looked mournfully at the rest of the kaaka fruit. There were atleast 3kgs of it. How on earth was I going finish the rest of it? I muttered uncomplimentary stuff about my cousin’s taste in general, planning to call her & give her an earful.

I couldn’t bear to throw it out & so it languished in the fridge for around 1 week. Every time I saw it I kicked myself for being so impulsive. But I still didn’t throw it out. I couldn’t bear to….it didn’t look the least spoilt…infact it was a bright red now.

This weekend when I went grocery shopping I caught sight of a familiar fruit piled up high in the fruit section. I went across to check it out. Oh yes it was the very same kaaka fruit.

The board read:

Khaki fruit
[works out to rs.420/kg]

I’m not sure how long I stood there. I had never seen it before in the supermarket. Or maybe I never noticed it. A lot of people were standing around and buying them. Seemed like it was a seasonal fruit & not found all year long like the others and quite popular too.

Came back home & googled it.

Persimmon also known as the Kaki fruit is a deep orange, waxy fruit which is similar to a tomato in shape. Persimmons with light-colored flesh have astringent taste until they soften. The astringent taste is due to the presence of a large amount of tannin, the same substance found in tea. As the fruit ripens and sweetens the tannin disappears.
It is advisable to remove the skin before eating the flesh which, too, is bright orange. The best way to remove the thin skin of this fruit is by placing it under running water while scraping off the skin.

Health Benefits of Persimmon:

* Persimmons can help prevent cancer because it is high in vitamin A.

* Astingent taste of persimmon can help stops diarrhea, reduces sweating, and slows or stops bleeding.

* It is use as a traditional Chinese remedy for hiccups. Take 9 grams of calyx of the persimmon fruit and 3 grams of fresh ginger. Add water and steam for a few minutes and eat.

*It contain compounds known as shibuol and betulinic acid that are thought to have anti-cancer properties.

* A study conducted in Japan showed that the peel of the persimmon contains phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins which may protect cells against oxidative damage associated with aging.

Buying Tip: When choosing persimmons look for ones that have a deep red color, plump and without blemishes. Avoid ones that are hard if you plan on eating them immediately since the immature persimmon has a bitter taste. Ripeness is usually indicated by softness.

So yeah I’m eating them everyday. They are actually quite tasty……honest.

And I'm sure there is a lesson in it for me somewhere.

*I got the info about the fruit from here.


  1. "kaaka" Name is funny, but ur post deft. make me to try one..But not sure we can get it in India..Thanks again fr the fruitful post :)

  2. Hmmm..'kaaka fruit'. Never heard of it until I read this post. I have not seen this in Kerala :(

  3. Prabodh: Seems like the fruit is grown extensively in China and the Japanese called it their National fruit bcoz its that popular with them;-o.
    And U r welcome;-D!!!!!

    Tan: Who knows, maybe its known by yet another name in Kerala;-)

  4. The moment I saw the pictures, I knew it was about the Persimons. In the initial months of marraige, the husband had delivered lectures on the richness of nutrients in these fruits and I used to devour on them: the Persimons, and the Dragon fruit. Offlate, my loyalty is with the mangosteen and strawberries.

  5. Did we learn about this fruit from the fruit charts we had at school ? No na. But it exists. High time our fruit charts get updated and syllabus modified ! Have a good time with kaaka fruit and may u get all the health benefits as mentioned in the article :)

  6. RS: U mean he lectured u or he really is a lecturer in a college???? If ur husband is advocating the benefits of the fruit then just wait I'll go eat 2 or 3 of them & then sit confidently down to chat with u;-o.
    And oflate my loyalty is with kiwi & pineapples;-D

    Anita: Oh my fruit chart has been modified big time after coming to the UAE. Another fruit I'm curious about is abt the Dragon fruit;-).

  7. A matter of one week, I saw 2 bloggers posting about this :D So, must be worth giving a try ;)

    The carnival sounds like fun :D

  8. Aaaha, N, he lectured me...Ha!!

  9. Very funny :-) It's a pretty stupid name I have to say :-)

  10. don't blame you for buying as they look so plum and pretty. i too was miffed by these. the first bunch from a friend's garden were the ready-to-eat-when-plucked-from-tree kind and i liked it. so i grabbed the free ones in the cafeteria harvested from the area around my office. ooops! they were bitter at first bite and i had to wait a week or 2 to eat the rest. can we expect persimmon trifle soon?:-))liked the details. never knew they were called khaki!

  11. just very recently tasted this fruit in Shimla... it was horrible to say the least !!!!

  12. Swaram: Hah great minds think alike....who's this other famous, clever & erudite blogger????

    RS: ;-D

    Agnes: U dont knw half of it, in the Indian language kaaka has a 100 other meanings to it & u wdnt want to know half of them;-P

    Lan: The correct spelling of the fruit according to the internet is kaki or Persimmon. I guess people with little knowledge say something else & it spreads;-P.

    Hitchwriter: LOL then I'm sure u ate the raw fruit;-D.
    Ahem, are u by any chance the other intelligent & knowlegable blogger swaram was talking abt;-D???

  13. LOl on the name...yep I do know of a gross meaning..but I'll let it remain with me..;-)

  14. i thought it was a giant tomato! heh good info.

  15. I love perssimons! But sadly we dont get them here... at least not affordable prices... wish someone would grow them in their farms here.

  16. Informative post nancy, next time i will look out for this khaki fruit, though the price is a deterrent. Harvest festivals happen in our churches as well. Is it a common feature in all churches or only for Syrian Christian churches.

  17. Lovely! I'd heard of persimmon before but never seen or tasted the fruit - and now, given a chance, I shall! :o)

  18. Uma: No comments;-P!!!!

    Snow: Looks almost like one except for the stem..and the insides;-).

    Sarah: Hitchwriter says he tasted some in Shimla:-).
    And thanks for u knw what:-)!!!!

    Elizabeth: I think some form of it is celebrated in all churches and ours is particularly elaborate in my opinion;-P.
    I'm 'Orthodox' with the word Syrian popping up here & there, is tht the same as Syrian Christians;-D???

    Jane: Hehe must try everything once eh;-D
    Good I got u here Jane, I tried commenting on ur page yeaterday but ur comment properties didnt allow me to. Can u include the name & URL option too???

  19. hey your site was showing some malware detection the past couple of days and i was too bummed to proceed..hence the delay :)
    yeah persimmons are very common here..ive had it in a cake and a creme brulee..infact makes for really moist cakes.. :)

  20. I had no clue abt the malware....just found out this morning when a few kind bloggers informed me;-o. Have removed it now.
    Really.... in cakes???? Now thts a good idea....have a few more left, thanks:-).

  21. ha ha... check my mail !!! you will know if I agree with Swaram ! :P

  22. great post- lesson learned- first impressions should not be our last impressions. LOVE the persimmon ... and now with all your handy facts, I love it more :)


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