23 October 2005

Mystery Fruit

These are called kurma. That is a tricky name because it turns out that it means lots of things. Kurma is an incarnation of Vishnu, or it's a type of curry, or it means dates. My Kyrgyz dictionary translated kurma as dates or figs. However, I can't believe these are dates. They look nothing like dates.

I'm hesitant to say they're figs because I didn't think figs had a skin like this. I had figs right off the tree one time when we visited a Palestinian family in the West Bank so I'm not totally unfamiliar with them, but still, I'm no expert.

These little guys are about the size of a tomato and look and feel very much like tomatoes except for the larger leaves on top. They're not quite ripe yet so I haven't had a chance to taste one yet.

Does anyone have any guesses? Or does someone who knows about figs think that's what these are? I'm quite curious.

[Update] I've have a vote for persimmons, and that seems quite likely. Unless anyone objects, these are persimmons.


  1. They look like persimmons to me, too.

  2. I was going to say persimmons too. However, not very ripe ones at that. They need to ripen to a more full orange color to be ready to eat.

    If they were dates.... they'd be a lot smaller. The dates in the mid east do look a lot like that. The are actually non-ripe versions that are eaten crunchy rather than allowed to ripen and lose moisture on the vine. These dates are usually about the size of a large cherry or cherry tomatoe. and they are round. not shaped like the fruit above. Also if a date tree has not been pollinated, the fruit will remain yellow gold such as above and not ripen. It is still eaten by some people.

    It's definitely not a fig.

  3. You win the prize... they are persimmons. These are the Japanese variety. I'll look around for my recipe for Indiana Persimmon pudding which is a Thanksgiving Day tradition in my family. It's a baked pudding, VERY heavy and VERY rich.

  4. Oh and Amira, my husband the farmer says, yep these are persimmons. However, prior to eating they should almost be mushy. Do not eat them firm if you want to enjoy them. You can eat them "green" but the probability of getting someone to eat them again is highly unlikely. I have a good cookie recipe for persimmons if you'd like it.

  5. Thanks ladies. I'd love that recipe, Carol.

    I'll leave them too see if they get softer.

  6. They are persimmons...the hachiya variety, very astringent. Wait to eat until it is very soft and mushy. A unique treat is to place them in the freezer and then several hours later they will be like a sorbet. Prolific in California. Although the fuyu variety are my favorite.

  7. I'll try to get that pudding recipe in a couple of days. I would love that cookie recipe Chronicler.

  8. Anonymous, the sorbet sounds really good.

    chronicler, I didn't notice at first that you have a cookie recipe (that's what I get for having limited time on the internet). I'd like the recipe too.

  9. I'll dig it out and post it in the group email. Or here if it's easier for you, let me know.

  10. Oh, post it here. I'd like to point people to it if that's okay.

  11. Amira, here is the recipe. I added a glaze recipe from another baker that didn't find the cookies all that appetizing without them. I really like them plain. They are a cookie I'd take on a long walking day to be enjoyed along the way.

    1 1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    3/4 cup persimmon puree
    2 3/4 cups flour
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp cloves
    1 cup chopped walnuts

    (You can also add a pinch of ginger if you like it! Sometimes i bump the cinnamon to 1.5 teaspoons depending on how many other spice things are about or have been consumed int he recent past.)

    1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
    2 Tbsp milk
    1 Tbsp persimmon puree
    1 tsp grated orange peel

    1. Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Add persimmon puree, stirring until blended.

    2. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to persimmon mixture a third at a time, stirring just until flour is incorporated. Stir in nuts.

    3. Lay out plastic wrap on a large smooth surface. Place the cookie dough on the plastic wrap and form into a long cylindrical log, wrapping the dough completely with the plastic wrap. Place in freezer. Chill at least a couple of hours, until frozen or almost frozen.

    4. Preheat oven to 375°F. When dough is fairly solid, unwrap from plastic wrap and slice with a sharp knife, 1/4" thick rounds. Lay out cookie dough rounds on stick-free cookie sheets, leaving at least an inch between the cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies spring back when lightly touched in center. Let cool on baking racks before frosting.

    5. When cookies have cooled, lay out over a sheet of wax paper. Sift confectioner's sugar and then whisk with 2 Tbsp of milk until smooth. Add 1 Tbsp of persimmon puree and 1 tsp of grated orange peel and mix until smooth. Dip spoon into glaze mixture and dribble over cookies. Let harden and serve.

  12. AnonymousJuly 21, 2007

    I also heard this fruit as Kurma and was actually searching for the common name and reached this page. very happy to realize that it is PERSIMMON.