Thursday, October 28, 2010

Defrosted Fruit

No, that's not a victim of the Ice Truck Killer: it's a persimmon.

My new home is in the Pioneer (or "Happy") Valley of Western Mass, and luckily it's a fun place to eat. There are farms, there are restaurants, there are farm to table restaurants, and so forth. But one of my favorite food destinations isn't a restaurant. In fact, it's more like a warehouse.

The crowded aisles of Tran's World Food Market in Hadley are packed with odds and ends from all corners of the earth. Need chili paste? You'll feel like a kid in a chili paste store. Need coconut vinegar? No, you don't even know what coconut vinegar is, but you buy a bottle for $1.50 anyway.

The market has assuaged any concerns I had about getting all of the ingredients I need and no longer living in an urban area. Tran's World Food Market might have as many items as all of Boston's ethnic markets crammed into one, or a least it looks that way. One day there were shrink-wrapped hunks of hacked up, spiky jackfruit at the register: an impulse buy.

I recently discovered a freezer section dedicated to whole, dirt cheap, exotic frozen fruit. I bought a mesh bag of frozen mangosteens for about six bucks and a bag of rock-hard, icy persimmons for under two bucks. Sustainable? No. Irresistible? Yes.

Unable to restrain myself, I started eating them still frozen on the drive home. A frozen persimmon is kind of a fun thing to eat, assuming you're as weird as I am, but a frozen mangosteen has as much flavor as a snowball. Disappointing considering I've been told they're the world's best fruit.

However both were stellar once thawed: the fruits had all reached peak ripeness before being John Spartan-ed. But here's the strange thing. I took a bite of a frozen persimmon then left it to thaw in the fridge overnight. In the morning, most of the persimmon had leaked out onto the plate and gelled into an irresistible glop.

I slurped it up for breakfast.

I've tried to replicate the experience by cutting others with a knife and letting them thaw, but little juice and no jelly has resulted. I'd ask if anyone has any advice, but I can't imagine that anyone does.

I think I just need to savor the freak experience of eating spontaneously occurring fruit goo for what it was.

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Jacob said...

It could be that it froze more slowly (a large batch and it was near the middle) and so suffered more damage.

You could try to replicate by refreezing a fully thawed one that didn't jellied. Wrap tightly in plastic/foil or put in ziptop bag and suck out as much air as you can.

Anonymous said...

It could have been the amylase in your saliva that caused the "jelly" breakdown. Try taking a bite of another to see if it happens again or lick one that you cut with the knife.

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