Gardening Magazine

Inconvenience Foods

By Gardenamateur

It's peak season for my two favourite inconvenience foods – persimmons and quinces. 'Inconvenience' foods? Yep. These babies aren't quick and easy to eat. You have to earn them, you have to wait and, best of all, they're available for just a few months every year. After the season is over, you have to be patient... and wait ... until next year. I like that!
Inconvenience foodsThis dome-shaped person is an astringent persimmon. Should you foolishly attempt to eat this thing while firm and unripe, I have been told your mouth will pucker instantly with the bitterness, and stay puckered for ages. And you'll never do that again, either. Fortunately for me I was forewarned and I did what everyone should do: I waited until it softened, and softened some more, then finally arrived at the "I'm about to disintegrate with softness" stage. Then it's ready to eat. It's my favourite breakfast during its season of autumn and early winter. I like to think of it in an anti-marketing way as "Cereal with Disintegrated Inconvenience Food Collapsed over the Top". Catchy name? Yummy, I say.
Inconvenience foodsOn the left is the astringent persimmon, the one with the dome, and on the right is the modern convenience food type of persimmon, the non-astringent type, the flatter one, also known as Fuji, Kaki and various other names. The non-astringent types are much more sensible things. You can eat them crisp like an apple or let them ripen until softer and eat them, say, like a ripe pear. They're nice, and they are of course much more popular than the highly inconvenient astringent persimmon. But I like the weirdo on the left more because, in the end, it wins the big prize: it tastes better.
As this is a gardening blog most of the time, I should pause for a moment to say that no, I am not about to tell you how I grow persimmons here, because I don't. I could struggle along against the laws of nature and keep a persimmon tree alive here, sure, but it wouldn't be a happy person. Persimmons like a mildly chilly winter as a part of their fruit-making cycle, and Sydney can't supply that, especially where I am in the mild zone near the coast. My area is, alas, too warm for raising successful crops of my other favourite fruits such as apples, nashi pears and quinces, so I don't bother growing them, either. And so I content myself with letting other people in the right climates grow quality crops of the fruits I love, and I'm happy just to buy some, to keep them in business doing what they do so well.

Did I just mention quinces? My other favourite inconvenience food. They're in season now, and I love them as much as I love persimmons.Inconvenience foodsBought this one yesterday, and it's wonderfully inconvenient too. And seasonal as well. When fruits are available for just a few months each year they remain special. As soon as the modern world decrees that the spoilt child known as the average consumer simply insists on having their favourite fruit for 365 days a year, then the poor fruit loses some of its charisma. Absence does make the heart fonder for fruit. Such a thrill to see the first quince of the season each year, and to know what lies ahead for the next few months.

Inconvenience foodsI love this part of quinces, the soft downy bloom which appears on the skin. It's harmless and rubs off or washes off (or disappears in the peelings anyway) but I have seen people in shops almost recoil in horror when they discover that there is "something" on that fruit! So many modern fruit shops, with their gleaming over-polished apples and art-directed displays of coordinated colours, are almost sanitised in their drive for visual perfection. And then over to the side, away from the main show, there are the quince trays, fluffy with down and looking like a bunch of unshaven hobos needing a wash. Often I think they're the only truly natural looking thing left in some modern fruit shops.
Inconvenience foodsAs soon as I finish writing this blog this little quince is going to be peeled, cut into chunks, sprinkled with sugar, sloshed with water and tossed into a covered small baking dish, along with a cinnamon stick, to slowly turn bright, bright red and become yet another cool season breakfast treat. It takes three or four hours for the flesh to change from the original off-white to this wonderful colour, and while that happens the house fills with the aroma of the quinces meeting the spice of the cinnamon. It might take a while, but the inconvenience is always worth it.



You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Pending Pergola

    Pending Pergola

    or an update to a Life Less Wonky It is clearly an annual event that I stand in front of the pergola and consider it. I mainly consider its longevity, or... Read more

    By  Ozhene
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Jobs for November

    Jobs November

    The Garden Smallholder Fading light conditions can make time for the garden almost impossible if you’re busy, now is the time to get motivated to put the... Read more

    By  The Garden Smallholder
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Collecting Seeds from Leaf Celery

    Collecting Seeds from Leaf Celery

    The other day I wrote about cutting down a massive Leaf Celery plant and saving some seed from it. Today I'm going to write about the result. Read more

    By  Mwillis
    GARDENING, HOME
  • In A Vase On Monday – Forced Blossom

    Vase Monday Forced Blossom

    This week I have remade the vase of lichen covered twigs and hydrangea Annabelle from a few weeks ago. Last week I included a few branches of Viburnum... Read more

    By  Julie King
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Tree Following January 2017 - You Got a Friend

    Tree Following January 2017 Friend

    Way back in the day when I purchased my quince tree it said very clearly on the label that it was self-fertilising.  I believed this and took it at its word. Read more

    By  Ozhene
    GARDENING, HOME
  • A Garden Tour: The Clergy House, Alfriston

    Garden Tour: Clergy House, Alfriston

    On a sunny day in June of last year, and anxious to avoid a long list of home DIY jobs, I drove a few miles over the South Downs to the village of Alfriston. Read more

    By  David Marsden
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Why High Insulin Precedes Type 2 Diabetes

    High Insulin Precedes Type Diabetes

    Joseph Kraft is a medical doctor who measured over 14,000 oral glucose tolerance tests in his lifetime. This is a standard test to measure the blood glucose... Read more

    By  Dietdoctor
    HEALTH, MEDICINE

Magazines