Looking for a comment about persimmons October 20, 2013 9:04 PM   Subscribe

It's persimmon season, and for the last few years I've been trying to remember a rhyme I read on metafilter that helped you remember how you should eat the two different kinds. It starts with "if it's shaped like a disk, eat it crisp; if it's shaped like a torpedo..."-- I don't remember the rest.

I've searched a bunch, both on mefi and on the web, and I'm not seeing anything like this. I may be misremembering the second part of the rhyme? I recall it being a jokey thing someone made up on the spot?
posted by danny the boy to MetaFilter-Related at 9:04 PM (109 comments total)

The last line is "eat it soft as Play-Doh" or "wait 'til it's like Play-Doh" but I didn't hear it on Metafilter--I used to run a food co-op's produce department.

Googling this turns up a result in the comments of this BoingBoing post. Xeni loves it!
posted by pullayup at 9:13 PM on October 20, 2013


Huh! Perhaps I didn't read it on mefi though I could have sworn I did. Well, that certainly makes sense, thanks!

Though it doesn't quite roll off the tongue, the second part. Maybe that's why I forgot it.
posted by danny the boy at 9:27 PM on October 20, 2013


"If it's shaped like a torpedo, it's a burrito."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:37 PM on October 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


If it's on BoingBoing they why's it in MeTa
it's chimichanga.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:18 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


And if when you buy some at the grocery store, the woman bagging your groceries asks "What are these? what do they taste like?" how do you answer? (This happened to me today)
posted by nat at 11:04 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was really hoping it was "if it's shaped like a torpedo, that's pretty neato". Dang.
posted by palomar at 11:16 PM on October 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are you asking how to properly eat Hachiya (oblong and astringent) and Fuyu (squat and not astringent) persimmons? Or are you already familiar with different varieties of persimmon and just want to know the specific rhyme?

If it's the first, then I hasten to add that sometimes you might find other persimmon varieties that are neither Fuyu nor Hachiya in stores and at markets, and the rule of thumb is that the squat varieties are OK to eat firm, while the oblong varieties generally need prolonged ripening.

On the other hand, I picked up some oblongs at the market yesterday and they're fine to eat firm. Go figure?
posted by Nomyte at 11:23 PM on October 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Xeni "I have not eaten one but other [sic] report they are good eating when soft."

No they are not. They are never good eating. They look like they would be. But they aren't.

Persimmons are something you contemplate to eat when you are out of bark. When you bite into or slice one they have the texture of a ripe peach or mangoe. It has a hint of sweetness - overwhelmed by astringency [hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate], it's like sucking on a peach Alum Poison Pixie Stix.

On preview per Nomyte above I may have not tried the more squat variety. Perhaps I'm allergic or something.
posted by vapidave at 11:34 PM on October 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


If you're eating the astringent, torpedo-shaped ones when they still have the texture of a ripe peach it's too soon. It should be almost like apple butter in there.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:04 AM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


you guys I'm asian I know how to eat a persimmon
posted by danny the boy at 12:19 AM on October 21, 2013 [13 favorites]


just don't go on an all-persimmon diet, or if you do make sure you are always near a Barnes & Noble
posted by en forme de poire at 12:30 AM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am aghast at your suggestion that all Asian people eat persimmons.
posted by Nomyte at 1:04 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Suppose you're eating lunch at school, and you're given the choice of three bag lunches: Inside one bag is an apple, inside the others, persimmons. You pick a bag, say No. 1, and the nice lunch person who knows what's in the bags, opens another bag, say No. 3, which has a persimmon. They then say to you, "Do you want to pick bag No. 2?" Is it to your advantage to switch your choice?"

Yes, because I hate persimmons.
posted by vapidave at 2:15 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


One of the cruelest things a person could ever do is hand another person a green persimmon and tell them it's a green tomato and then watch them take a bite.

My mouth still turns inside out at the memory.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:13 AM on October 21, 2013


> it's like sucking on a peach Alum Poison Pixie Stix.

If you've ever actually tasted this then your persimmon was GREEN (no matter what color it was).

There's a native persimmon that's fairly common around here. It's hard to resist picking them when you can, they're so pretty. Local advice is to only harvest the ones that separate EASILY from their stems, i.e. the ones that practically fall off into your hand, or the ones that actually do fall off the branch onto the ground if you give the branch just a light little shake. I follow this advice and still leave them on a sunny windowsill for a day or three before trying a bite.

Now I think of it, I don't believe I've ever had a cultivated persimmon. The ones you find in the woods remind you right away that they're wild fruit--they're packed full of big seeds, like watermelon seeds. Clearly nobody of the horticultural persuasion has ever done any work on these guys trying to get an even semi-seedless variety. If I find any at all I try to collect enough to make persimmon jam. You're going to have to render the fruit to pulp anyway and it's easy to lose the seeds then along with the skins (not to mention any six- or eight-legged wildlife you may have inadvertently brought home.)
posted by jfuller at 5:23 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:27 AM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


"if it's shaped like a disk, eat it crisp; if it's shaped like a torpedo..."

...watch out for your libido?

I'll show myself out
posted by jquinby at 6:16 AM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


.. shoot it first, like Greedo?
posted by h00py at 6:35 AM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


it's like sucking on a peach Alum Poison Pixie Stix.

You're doing it wrong, as discussed above.

On a related point, the word "shibui", which I understand has entered the bobo/SWPL lexicon along with "umami", primarily refers to the astringent taste of an underripe persimmon.

the woman bagging your groceries asks "What are these? what do they taste like?" how do you answer?

This happens to me from time to time and it is a time I find it particularly hard to be charitable. I find it invasive. Am I alone in this?
posted by Tanizaki at 6:35 AM on October 21, 2013


I was really hoping it ended "...eat it in a Speedo."

But play-dough? Have I been pronouncing torpedo wrong all my life?
posted by Mchelly at 6:46 AM on October 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


...it may taste like pee, though.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:06 AM on October 21, 2013


"How to choose

persimmons
. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down newspaper.
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
Chew the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
so sweet,
all of it, to the heart."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:16 AM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Tor-PAY-doh.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:17 AM on October 21, 2013


I always thought of persimmon as the worst thing I've ever attempted to eat. It instantly sucked all the moisture out of my mouth and tasted terrible. Then a woman I was seeing gave me some really, really ripe Fuyu that she had prepared, and I was instantly converted. It seems that previously I had eaten a fairly unripe Hachiya, which I really can't discourage you enough from attempting. Just remembering it makes me want to wash my mouth out with soap, which would actually be slightly less unappealing.
posted by nevercalm at 7:37 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find it invasive. Am I alone in this?

So this one time I was at the Duane Reade to get some Drano for the bathroom sink. So I get the Drano and I'm like hey might as well pick up some other stuff as long as I'm here. So I was low on condoms so I got those, and it was a few days after Easter, so I picked up a couple of bags of discount eastern candy, and why not a Red Bull.

So I'm at the counter and I line this stuff up. And now that it's in front of me, the simultaneous purchase of children's candy, stimulant beverage, prophylactics and drain cleaner has made this the serial kill-iest purchase I have ever made.

And, of course, rather than check me out quickly because there's a line of people forming behind me, the woman at the counter decides to have a chat about whether or not Drano works well.
posted by griphus at 7:50 AM on October 21, 2013 [26 favorites]


Persimmons are the Japanese equivalent of zucchini.

One November, some years ago, I was on a road trip in southern Nara prefecture with some friends. We stopped at a post office about an hour out of Yoshino so the ladies in our group could use the restroom. They returned with a large bag of persimmons that the very friendly postal workers had given them.

I firmly believe that there is an official "Give Some Persimmons to Gaikokujin Day" in Japan.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:23 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


MonkeyToes: "persimmons. This is precision.
Ripe ones are soft and brown-spotted.
Sniff the bottoms. The sweet one
will be fragrant. How to eat:
put the knife away, lay down newspaper.
Peel the skin tenderly, not to tear the meat.
Chew the skin, suck it,
and swallow. Now, eat
the meat of the fruit,
so sweet,
all of it, to the heart."
"

I've been very slowly working on an Iron Chef FPP. All this needs is a haughty "If my memory serves me correctly" as a preface to sound like Chairman Kaga's analysis of today's theme ingredient.
posted by zarq at 8:24 AM on October 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is just to say

I have eaten
the persimmons
that were in
the icebox

no I didn't
persimmons are terrible
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:26 AM on October 21, 2013 [18 favorites]


hey, i have a bag of fuyu persimmons on my counter that i was googling around about things to do with them/when to eat them/etc.

for the persimmon fans - i tend to have more fruit in my csa baskets than i can eat, so i end up cutting them into largish chunks (removing cores and seeds) and freeze them for juice (usually 3 or 4 fruits, some orange juice, and a stick blender to make a smoothie type thing). as long as i cut them when they're good to go, would fuyu persimmons be good in this sort of thing?
posted by nadawi at 8:56 AM on October 21, 2013


I like to cut them in chunks, lightly salt and olive oil 'em and then roast at high heat until caramelised. The best.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:10 AM on October 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


Persimmons are the Japanese equivalent of zucchini.

I had a co-worker who had a persimmon tree in her yard. She knew I like persimmons. Last year about this time, I came into my office one morning to find two bags of persimmons on my desk.

She's a nice person but I'm glad she doesn't work here anymore.
posted by rtha at 9:40 AM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hrm. 312 episodes of Iron Chef Japan, and they never had a Battle Persimmon (Kaki).
posted by zarq at 9:47 AM on October 21, 2013


iamkimiam: "I like to cut them in chunks, lightly salt and olive oil 'em and then roast at high heat until caramelised. The best."

Your ideas intrigue me and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Fuyu or Hachiya? And how do you eat them — straight up? As part of another dish?
posted by Lexica at 9:53 AM on October 21, 2013


Tanizaki: " This happens to me from time to time and it is a time I find it particularly hard to be charitable. I find it invasive. Am I alone in this?"

Out of curiosity, did you grow up in New York, New Jersey or the Northeast US? When I moved to Texas from NYC as a kid I had a lot of trouble getting used friendly/chatty cashiers. Not just them: perfect strangers thought nothing of saying hello and/or stopping to shoot the breeze in situations that would have been unacceptable in NYC.

As I've gotten older those interactions have become a lot more pleasant and natural-feeling.
posted by zarq at 9:58 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Fuyu or Hachiya?"

I have no idea! But I've found that fleshy, orange ones work best.

"And how do you eat them — straight up? As part of another dish?"

Fork, usually off the roasting pan.
(sometimes I forego the fork)
posted by iamkimiam at 10:01 AM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This happens to me from time to time and it is a time I find it particularly hard to be charitable. I find it invasive. Am I alone in this?

I recently checked out in a Safeway and the cashier asked me whether all the cold medicine was for me, then proceeded to scold me for not wearing a sweater and for buying dairy products (which according to her, increase mucus). I tried my best to interpret it as concern.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:11 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


LOOK LADY I DON'T TELL YOU WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR MUCUS AND I'D APPRECIATE YOU NOT TELLING ME WHAT TO DO WITH MINE
posted by griphus at 10:18 AM on October 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


As others have said torpedo-shaped persimmons should only be eaten when they're mushy.

What others haven't said is that because "eat it when it's rotten" doesn't sound so nice, there's a technical term for allowing them to soften, bletting, "a process that certain fruits undergo beyond ripening", as Wikipedia euphemistically puts it.
posted by kenko at 10:28 AM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


nadawi: "for the persimmon fans - i tend to have more fruit in my csa baskets than i can eat"

Oh man make jam it is the best

Some persimmon jam on a thick heavily buttered slice of rustic round 3.5 months from now will be like discovering a love note from your past self
posted by danny the boy at 10:36 AM on October 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


This happens to me from time to time and it is a time I find it particularly hard to be charitable. I find it invasive. Am I alone in this?

Go and work as a cashier, for like a week. It will drastically change how you interact with cashiers and other one-on-one service people.
posted by royalsong at 10:43 AM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


James Beard's recipe for persimmon bread is really good.
posted by path at 10:46 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I always chat with my cashiers and anyone else in the queue if they are so inclined. Queuing can be tedious and it helps pass the time. Persimmon optional.
posted by arcticseal at 12:41 PM on October 21, 2013


I've been on the cashier (well, the Only Guy In The Store) side a few times years and I subjected myself to quite a number of people out of sheer boredom.

One was a teenage girl, dressed entirely in neon pink, who showed up in the middle of the day (a lull time) claiming she was a mystery shopper. I patiently explained to her how the whole "mystery shopper" concept works and that the store owner paid the vendors maybe six times out of ten, much less hired anyone to spy on me. I could've kicked her out or asked her to leave, but being annoyed in active conversation was considerably more entertaining than being bored and alone.

Another time, around the same boring hour, a guy showed up who must have done some heroin minutes before walking into the store. I asked him if he needed anything, he said he was cool, positioned himself in an unobtrusive location, lolled his head back, and just reviewed the t-shirts we had on sale. He did this for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes, every once in a while moving a few feet to the right.

The owner came up, saw him staring at the shirts, saw me staring at him staring at the shirts and asked what the hell was going on. I had no answer save for "he's not shoplifting or bothering anyone." After another five or ten minutes, he got bored, thanked me, and walked out.
posted by griphus at 12:52 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't think I've ever tried to eat an unripe Hachiya. I have, however, tasted alum. And I believe it to be the worst tasting substance in existence. Not that I'm about to experiment, mind you.

I'm in the midwest so chatty cashiers and baggers are pretty normal. Plus persimmons are awesome, at least if they are not unripe Hachiya, that is, so I'm happy to spread the word.
posted by nat at 1:38 PM on October 21, 2013


Huh. Is this where I link to the Korean folk tale, the tiger and the persimmon? A fearsome fruit, a very fearsome fruit.

Also like I didn't realize raisins were related to grapes, I ate dried persimmons happily for years before I realized they were related to fresh persimmons.
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:00 PM on October 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


So, this wildly overgrown Hachiya persimmon tree in my yard: Do I pick the fruit when it turns orange? And let the fruit ripen on the counter? Or should it hang out on the tree longer?
posted by purpleclover at 2:07 PM on October 21, 2013


In desperation from a canker sore, I have actually stuck a styptic pencil in my mouth. It was kind of fun, actually, in a "boy, this is a strange new experience" type of way. But also it was kind of terrible.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:25 PM on October 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


It was kind of fun, actually, in a "boy, this is a strange new experience" type of way. But also it was kind of terrible.

This is my new favorite noncannonical Kurt Vonnegut character epitaph.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 2:37 PM on October 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


purpleclover, I've always received them when orange (but still firm), and just let them sit on the counter until soft and delicious.
posted by rtha at 2:40 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]




Usually only after gastric surgery though.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:48 PM on October 21, 2013


Yeah, being a cashier is pretty tedious; the highlight of my shifts was when people responded to "hi, how are you?" with "good, how are you?" instead of just "good". I wanted to make up elaborate stories in my head about what people were buying, but I worked for a university bookstore and an office supply store - it turns out there is absolutely no combination of textbooks or office supplies that looks incriminating.

Anyway, if you end up with a few persimmons, this persimmon-spinach-pecan salad tastes good and looks nice. We bring it to a Thanksgiving party every year.
posted by dreamyshade at 4:47 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: You're doing it wrong, as discussed above.

I have no opinions on persimmons except how close the word is to permissions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:56 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


purpleclover, in my limited experience, persimmons ripened on the tree are even tastier than otherwise.
posted by mbrubeck at 5:14 PM on October 21, 2013


Out of curiosity, did you grow up in New York, New Jersey or the Northeast US?

No, I grew up and live in Florida. I think I just have a different expectation of what I expect from customer service. I find it unduly personal for the person selling me something to speculate aloud what I intend to do with it. I don't think it matters if it is tomatoes or a morning-after pill. If I'm buying toilet paper, don't strike up a conversation about how it feels as I slide it across my anus. If I am buying rubbers, that is not an invitation to talk about sex or how this brand feels on my junk. Just ring the sale. Greetings like "nice weather today" are fine.

Go and work as a cashier, for like a week. It will drastically change how you interact with cashiers and other one-on-one service people.

Does fast food count? I did this a million years ago at a Kenny Rogers Roasters (proof how long ago this was). As much as I might have liked, I never struck up conversation about if the customer really needed the half-chicken deal with two sides and corn bread and wouldn't they like a small salad instead? Ditto for other comments about their purchases.

Too bad about The Gambler - I thought the recipe tasted better than Boston Market (then Boston Chicken).
posted by Tanizaki at 5:14 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Persimmons-- the round, lush orangey ones-- are also lovely frozen. I don't know their names because I used to buy them from a vendor in Rome who spoke Italian not all that well. He never asked about how I ate them or why, but once I spent a studious five minutes swapping faces with a toddler in the storefront, who had never seen the one where you make a pig nose or a cat clock face, and the vendor always laughed kindly at me after that.


Anyway I never get to make silly faces at children by the non-existent persimmons here and now I feel a little sad at that. So carpe persimmons, trusting as little as possible in the next one.
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:00 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


You don't talk about food with cashiers, you talk about other stuff.

About a week ago I was at Publix (hey Florida hey) singing Gene's Snake Song at my cashier, after we'd exhausted the possibilities of Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

Nobody mentioned my lack of persimmons, drain cleaner, or styptic chewtoys.

Damnit. I needed to get drain cleaner, too.
posted by cmyk at 7:04 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't believe that this thread has gotten this long and no one else has mentioned that a ripe Hachiya is the exaaaaaaact texture of a vulva. Unless I'm the only one who thinks that. In which case... uhhhhh... no I don't.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:11 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is the bestmost bafflingest thread ever.
posted by odinsdream at 8:00 PM on October 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Roasted and salted sounds amazing. And now I wonder how they'd do in a curry.
posted by notquitemaryann at 8:12 PM on October 21, 2013


Now I want a persimmon. Or lots of persimmons, really.
posted by mollymayhem at 9:01 PM on October 21, 2013


Okay. I need some help here. Not the varietal type.

I'm terrified of eating hachiya persimmons. Fuyu persimmons? Piece of cake. Under-ripe, ripe, whatever, I will peel and eat those and not be afraid. But, the hachiya persimmons?

Even after buying said persimmons at so-called "apple butter" consistency, I've peeled and eaten them only to have that terrible fuzzy-inside-of-my-mouth sensation, and this has happened one too many times with a very, very ripe hachiya variety persimmon for me to risk buying one only to throw it away because somehow I don't know how to eat it.

This is why I only eat hachiya persimmons dried, which are always delicious.

Does anybody know the real secret behind eating a fresh hachiya persimmon without wanting to scrape what feels like a suddenly hirsute tongue and inner cheeks out of my mouth (but being unable to do so)? I always feel like I'm duped, gambling, and invariably seem to end up with snake eyes.

Because there truly is nothing like the sweet, jelly-like, toothsome, delicious sweetness and texture of a ripe, bright orange persimmon at the height of autumn.
posted by simulacra at 9:11 PM on October 21, 2013


Persimians.

Richard Persimmons.
posted by Nomyte at 9:12 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


No they are not. They are never good eating. They look like they would be. But they aren't.

I will suggest that anyone who has eaten hachiya persimmon and hated it has never had a ripe one. My first time ever I thought it was one of the most disgusting things ever. It sucked all the moisture out of my mouth and I spit it out.

However, after being convinced to try again and let it ripen till it looked like it was bad... Mary, mother of god -- it a wonderful fruit!

You need to wait until it's so soft you can literally eat it with a spoon. If there are not black spots growing on it like bruises, you haven't waited long enough. There are few things as wonderful as fresh hachiya persimmon sliced (with a butter knife!) into yogurt or cottage cheese. Melts-in-your-mouth-life-changing-flavor!
posted by dobbs at 9:15 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


permissions

Yes! By the 4th or 5th time I read it I started seeing that word instead.

I find it invasive. Am I alone in this?

I feel the same way much of the time and am the type of person who will say "good, how are you doing?" and typically likes chatting up with random people. I empathize though, because I'd have a hard time of it myself, just wanting to talk about ANYTHING and hey, here's a convenient topic.

However, I'm kind of flattered when they don't know what something [uncontroversial] is (in my case I recall kumquats) and I get to elaborate. What I don't like are things like:

That's a lot of candy! (Or even "that's a lot of candy for a little girl!" My sister first heard this when she was like 10, buying some candy bars for her and myself at a nearby corner store)

That's an interesting combination of items! You got your things that aren't healthy, and then some things that are good for you or are just moderate typical food! (I've heard variations on this before)

It is silly to buy X, Y is cheaper, I buy Y, what's your deal

Wow, you like caffeine.

Are those any good? (OK this is totally innocent conversation-making, but c'mon, NO I AM JUST DUMB)
posted by lordaych at 11:46 PM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Too bad about The Gambler -

Come to Malaysia, where Kenny Rogers never died. I wouldn't cross the street for one, much less the Pacific Ocean, but here they are.
posted by BinGregory at 12:27 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


When my son was a toddler, we had a board book of fruits with their names in Malay that I'd read to him. Cempedak, durian, mangga - all fairly odd names to my American ear. But whenever I'd get to persimmon, kesemek in Malay, my kid would just die laughing. He's 15 now and I've never gotten an explanation. Nor have I ever seen a persimmon in the market, for that matter.
posted by BinGregory at 12:37 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


julthumbscrew: "I can't believe that this thread has gotten this long and no one else has mentioned that a ripe Hachiya is the exaaaaaaact texture of a vulva. Unless I'm the only one who thinks that. In which case... uhhhhh... no I don't."

Soft persimmons will always remind me fondly of my first serious girlfriend in college, who introduced me to, and nurtured that exact association.
posted by danny the boy at 2:18 AM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


"if it's shaped like a disk, eat it crisp; if it's shaped like a torpedo..."

...stuff it down your Speedo's?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:03 AM on October 22, 2013


Are those any good? (OK this is totally innocent conversation-making, but c'mon, NO I AM JUST DUMB)

Usually I just say, "they're just $2.39 per pound in this very store, so you might want to give them a try."

You don't talk about food with cashiers

But they do. They want to know what this tastes like or if I have ever had it before or what my plans are for this food. (yes, at Publix) I love Publix as only a Floridian could but serenity now!
posted by Tanizaki at 10:35 AM on October 22, 2013


Peter: Except in this scenario the hard ones are way less desirable than the flaccid ones.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:35 AM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, there goes any hope of me not reading Tanizaki's comments as Frank Costanza.
posted by griphus at 10:36 AM on October 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


at a Kenny Rogers Roasters (proof how long ago this was)

Or, alternatively, proof that this story takes place in Malaysia.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:43 AM on October 22, 2013


i've taught throngs of people at grocery stores how to make a specific soup or how to roast kale chips or how easy it is to make chinese black bean baked chicken thighs. but i love talking about food no matter what the venue.
posted by nadawi at 11:02 AM on October 22, 2013


nat: And if when you buy some at the grocery store, the woman bagging your groceries asks "What are these? what do they taste like?" how do you answer?

Portobello, or Agaricus bisporus if you're nasty.

Tanizaki: This happens to me from time to time and it is a time I find it particularly hard to be charitable. I find it invasive. Am I alone in this?

You're interacting with people. If you want to avoid small talk, some stores have self-serve lines where you can scan your own goods. It's annoying with produce, as can't scan the product and instead have to identify the item some other way.

But if you don't have option to avoid cashiers, remember that some people are bored out of their skulls doing these jobs, and the chance to talk with a person breaks the monotony of of scanning item after item after item. Some are content to work in silence, other people crave social interactions, no matter how fleeting and superficial. For them, there is no serenity in silence, only soul-crushing solitude. (OK, maybe not soul-crushing, but you get the idea.)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:42 AM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're interacting with people. If you want to avoid small talk, some stores have self-serve lines where you can scan your own goods. It's annoying with produce, as can't scan the product and instead have to identify the item some other way.

Yeah, I'll "take away someone's job" with the self-serve and that will just give those Occupy folks another reason to protest classy Tanizaki. A good way to identify produce is to know what it looks like. That's how I buy bananas and don't think they are pumpkins.

Like I said, I don't mind social interaction with cashiers or anyone else. I just think there is a universe of what is appropriate subject matter and "what is this object and what are you intentions regarding it?" is not in that universe. A time or two I have remarked, "you didn't ask about the rubbers" and then things get real non-boring real quick.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:43 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tanizaki: " No, I grew up and live in Florida. I think I just have a different expectation of what I expect from customer service. I find it unduly personal for the person selling me something to speculate aloud what I intend to do with it."

Except that the examples you originally gave: "What are these?" and "What do these taste like" are not speculations on what you intend to do with a fruit. Nor are they particularly personal.

I suspect we have similar expectations of what we expect from customer service. If someone was to make a personal comment about what I was buying I would also find that invasive.
posted by zarq at 12:45 PM on October 22, 2013


Tanizaki: "Yeah, I'll "take away someone's job" with the self-serve and that will just give those Occupy folks another reason to protest classy Tanizaki."

How did an innocent thread about what kind of persimmons to stuff into my speedo turn into Tanizaki complaining about being persecuted by the poor
posted by danny the boy at 1:02 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Computer voice: "Hello, $CUSTOMER. Please state what you plan to do with these persimmons after the tone. Boop."
Shopper: "I intend to insert them into my bathing suit to make my manhood look bigger."
Computer voice: "I'm sorry, but this persimmon is incompatible with this stated application. Please select Hachiya persimmons, PLU #4427, and try again."
Shopper: "This is really invasive."
Computer voice: "Does it please you to believe that this is really invasive?"
posted by en forme de poire at 1:28 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I once asked a business-y woman in her late-30s if she was buying all that punk gear -- it was a full outfit and no one save for teenagers and costume-party-goers tends to buy full outfits -- for a costume party. She stopped browsing, looked me in the eye, and replied without a trace of any emotion: "Role-playing."

That was the day I stopped asking.

However, she was very nice and returned a number of times. Probably because my only reaction was to indicate a rack of clothing she missed.
posted by griphus at 2:10 PM on October 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tanizaki: "I just think there is a universe of what is appropriate subject matter and "what is this object and what are you intentions regarding it?" is not in that universe."

I get into produce-aisle and farmers-market conversations allll the time and I have never had anybody ask or imply "what are your intentions regarding that piece of produce?" "Huh, what's that?" is common. "What do you do with it?" is also frequent.

But "What do you do with it" doesn't mean "What do you, the individual human standing before me, intend to do with this specific piece of plant matter, and is it something I approve of?" The answer people are looking for is not, as far as I've ever encountered, "I, uh, take it home and do intimate and personal things with it", it's something along the lines of "First you chop it up, then you sauté a little garlic, then…"
posted by Lexica at 2:14 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Please select Hachiya persimmons, PLU #4427, and try again.

PLU# 94427 for me, thank you.
posted by Nomyte at 4:04 PM on October 22, 2013


> I have no opinions on persimmons except how close the word is to permissions.

Noted! I'll try chmod 777 on the next bunch I find.
posted by jfuller at 4:10 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


PLU# 94427 for me, thank you.

Depending on where you live I encourage you to try out the locally grown options as well, especially if they include native persimmons (Diospyros virginiana), which are at their peak right after the first frost.
posted by pullayup at 5:03 PM on October 22, 2013


Provincial Vaginas
posted by odinsdream at 5:47 PM on October 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hey guys! Link is okay for clicking! I clicked it!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:06 PM on October 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, that was something.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:04 PM on October 22, 2013


The answer people are looking for is not, as far as I've ever encountered, "I, uh, take it home and do intimate and personal things with it", it's something along the lines of "First you chop it up, then you sauté a little garlic, then…"

…and THEN you do intimate and personal things with it!
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:53 PM on October 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "Hey guys! Link is okay for clicking! I clicked it!"

I wonder if clicking on a link to a google book result for "persimmon vulva" would get flagged by your average corporate IT department. :D

Persimmon Vulva would be a hell of a name for a band.
posted by zarq at 6:59 AM on October 23, 2013


The only grindcore act at Lillith Fair.
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


If it's shaped like a torpedo, baby why don't we go
Ooooooo I wanna take you down to Kokomo
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it sloooooow
That's where we wanna gooooo
Way down to Kokomo

(you're welcome)
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:38 AM on October 23, 2013


It never fails. On the way home from work last night, "IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE'S MAKING S'MORES!"

"Huh, what's that?" is common

If you do not know what you are selling, you do not know enough to do your job.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:02 PM on October 23, 2013


Have I got the portabello mushroom for you?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:39 PM on October 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


(oops... relevant previously)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:38 PM on October 23, 2013


Ok so the bottom paragraph of the linked page of Provincial Vaginas starts talking about a theory that ancient Egyptians colonized Japan and that's the origin of Japanese slang. Is this a real thing?
posted by medusa at 6:40 PM on October 23, 2013


I kind of like it when cashiers ask me if a food is good. There are two answers:

1) "Yes, I love this! (Helpful suggestion for use.)" Maybe it's the cashier's new favorite thing and they have no idea yet, and here I am helping them out.

2) "I'm going to try it tonight! It looks great! (Idea I had about use.)" OK, I'm looking forward to trying a new thing and the cashier might have some ideas. Pleasant conversation.

What I don't care for is random assumptions about what I'm going to do, i.e. the cashier who assumed I wasn't cooking for my kids tonight when I got a big sandwich... I was planning on eating it for six meals by myself, but thanks for reminding me?
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:47 PM on October 23, 2013


I'm pretty sure the dairy-increases-mucous thing is a myth, but just try to stop people telling you that and also telling you that vaporub on your feet will clear you right up.
posted by emjaybee at 10:23 PM on October 23, 2013


Ok so the bottom paragraph of the linked page of Provincial Vaginas starts talking about a theory that ancient Egyptians colonized Japan and that's the origin of Japanese slang. Is this a real thing?

Only if Egyptian is a new word for Korean or they settled Korea first, since virtually all Japanese DNA is shared with Koreans.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:02 PM on October 23, 2013


I'm pretty sure the dairy-increases-mucous thing is a myth, but just try to stop people telling you that and also telling you that vaporub on your feet will clear you right up.

Yeah, I had pneumonia earlier this month and if one more person told me to put vaporub on my feet to clear up the horrible, wet cough I had, I was going to punch someone in the throat. And then pass out from the exertion of standing up.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:12 AM on October 24, 2013


So on a related issue, I'm going to vent here, because I know it's a safe space:

I quit smoking (again but for real and totally) a couple of weeks ago and after the first few days, have been coughing a lot with a lot of phlegm (like was described here). So I keep getting lots of advice for what to do as if I'm sick. Then I explain why I'm actually coughing. And then I get advice on how to get through not smoking.

I appreciate those trying to help -- I really do. But man, it's also a good thing my nicotine craving irritability went away pretty quick.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:28 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Godspeed dude, that's a hella tough row to hoe.
posted by griphus at 10:30 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


MCMikeNamara, best of luck, that is a difficult and worthwhile journey.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:32 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also I have now been reading about the milk-mucus myth for the last 15 minutes. Fascinating stuff.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:33 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


It might be worth telling your friends that you have read that the best cure for the stress caused by quitting smoking is to beat up people who offer advice.

I include myself in that list. Pound away.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:34 AM on October 24, 2013


the mucous thing is a myth?? oh i love that story!
posted by nadawi at 10:46 AM on October 24, 2013


When I moved to my new house in Petaluma in July, I was delighted to discover a persimmon tree (the oblong variety) on the property*. The fruit are just beginning to ripen and I'm trying to bide my time and not be impatient, i.e. let them fully ripen before picking them. Few things are as dry as an unripe persimmon, and we Persians even have a word for that sort of dryness in food--"gass"--which is most often used to describe an unripe persimmon. One of those persimmons picked before its time will dry out your mouth more than a cupful of sand.


*I also have apple, lemon, orange, peach, pear, plum and pomegranate trees here (I think whoever planted them long ago had a thing for alliterations). I've already OD'ed on the apples, pears and peaches and eagerly await the other fruit coming into season.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:36 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Persimmon Chutney.

As the hachiya go ripe on the window sill, I cut the tops off and pop them into a bag in the freezer.

I then have Persimmon Chutney's main ingredient on hand to improve every Indian meal for a year, until next year's crop ripens.

I finally got the balance of spices in my chutney recipe right recently, and someone who sampled it suggested I make jars of it as gifts for the holidays.

Persimmon Chutney For Everyone!
posted by jbenben at 2:44 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


You cannot post something like that and not include the recipe, jbenben. You can't. It's just cruel.
posted by Lexica at 4:25 PM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'll get my notebook - hold on...

I don't do ratios. If it's near the top of the list, it is in the majority.

- Ripe Persimmon (prefer jelly-like hichya, but whatevs)

- Diced Apple

- Raisins

SIMMER

ADD

- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Ginger (dried or fresh)
- Tumeric (a smidge!)
- Coriander Seed, Ground
- Garlic (fresh or powder)
- Cinnamon
- Allspice
- Garam Masala
- Garlic Hot Sauce - or - Cayenne Pepper
- Sugar (MAYBE JUST A LITTLE - TASTE SIMMERED INGREDIENTS FOR BALANCE, FIRST!)

Then, tweak the spices.

-----

Done right, it is sublime.
posted by jbenben at 11:16 PM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


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