Like so many great love affairs, this one began with trepidation.
After all, an astringent personality is not something one warms to readily. What was required was untold patience for its latent sweetness to reveal itself in time.
Such was my relationship with Hachiya persimmons.
Now, with its cousin, the Fuyu, the attraction was immediate. Cheerfully hued, beguilingly sweet, and ready to eat in a flash while still crisp, the Fuyu is thoroughly captivating in salads or pickled.
But the Hachyia? Well, it was more like that demon lurking in the shadows in a horror movie, biding its time as it transformed ever so slowly but surely into something blobby, oozy, and frightening.
Can you blame me for trying to avoid it for years?
Allen, who runs the renowned cooking school at Ballymaloe in County Cork, Ireland that has its own 100-acre farm, offers up similar wisdom for a roster of other fruits, vegetables, herbs, edible flowers, and foraged finds in this 640-page book.
It makes a great resource for anyone who enjoys cooking, gardening or both. You’ll learn about oca, a tender green originally from South America that stars in “Oca, Chorizo, Scallion & Radish Salad.” Everyday potatoes turn special in “Burmese Pork & Potato Curry.” And easy-to-grow thyme gets a sweet turn in “Buttermilk Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Thyme Leaves.”
Add a dollop of whipped cream and you are good to go.
With the holidays upon us, I couldn’t resist trying my hand at the “Festive Cranberry & Pear Tart” from the book, of which I received a review copy.