Persimmons (kaki): A Burst of Antioxidant Cheer – Al-Tahrir News Network

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The agricultural road leading to Mansoura, the capital of the Egyptian governorate Daqahliyah, is dotted with patches of bright orange red. The brilliant hue is that of persimmons, which are known in Egypt as ‘kaki’.

Small pyramids of the round fruits are piled in little stands along the roadside. They are sold by rural women who harvest them from the fields nearby.

Persimmon tree in Egypt (photo: Blogspot)

The luscious fruit makes its appearance in Egypt in October.

The luscious fruit makes its appearance in Egypt in October

Soft in its texture, the taste of a persimmon is a cross between delicious ‘rotab’ dates and sumptuous mangoes. Its flavour is reminiscent of a bouquet of fruits.

The taste of a persimmon is a cross between delicious ‘rotab’ dates and sumptuous mangoes

Although persimmons’ countries of origin are China and Japan, they may safely be called an Egyptian fruit: so abundant are they in this country at easily affordable prices.

Persimmons’ countries of origin are China and Japan

Persimmons are not only beautiful to look at but the very experience of eating them is a sensational delight.

Persimmon is a delicious fruit of the genus Diospyros

The incredibly soft texture, delightful hue and sweetness of persimmons qualifies them as one of nature’s prime comfort foods. Like other natural comfort foods such as sweet potatoes and pumpkins, persimmons’ high mineral content helps alleviate fatigue and stress.

Persimmon (photo: Robin Asbel)

Like all of nature’s brilliantly coloured foods, persimmons literally burst with antioxidants.

A persimmon offers a powerful package of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin B Complex. It contains beta carotene, brain-healthy lycopene and lutein. These elements protect against oxygen-derived free radicals that play a role in aging and in disease.

Fuyu persimmon salsa (photo: My Pantry Shelf)

A persimmon contains high levels of potassium, iron, manganese and copper, as well as anti-inflammatory catechins.

Persimmons may be used in sauces and jellies, and in smoothies and salads. They are also sold dried.

Persimmon jam (photo: Blogspot)

Dried persimmon (photo: Ali Baba)

But to be savoured in their true essence persimmons are best eaten very ripe to the extent of almost bursting at the seams. They are even more delicious eaten cold from the fridge.

Persimmon (photo: Sueznn)

The smooth skin of a persimmon is easily washed with water and soap. A knife will seamlessly cut it in half, and its translucent creamy core easily scooped with a spoon and eaten…in exactly two bites.

One persimmon offers around 70 calories and 21 grams of sugar, so eating two will be enough to bring to you that day’s antioxidant cheer.

One persimmon offers around 70 calories and 21 grams of sugar (photo: Season Al Eating)