Order now, because persimmon pudding from The American Persimmon Company belongs on your Thanksgiving table. You can buy the pulp or pudding ready-made at area farmers’ markets, or order the pulp and read the recipe online.
For those of you who have not had persimmon pudding before, it is similar in texture and color to a crust-free pumpkin pie. Persimmon pudding, however, has a slightly sweeter taste–in fact, the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources page claims that persimmons can be used as a “healthy and unique sugar alternative”. However, the pudding is not as strong as pumpkin pie, making it an ideal substitute for people who find the latter too overpowering.
If you wish to top the pudding with something, you’re limited only by your imagination. According to the Indiana-based company’s website, persimmon pudding is “great served with caramel sauce, whipped cream or ice cream”. Accompanying food varies as well–while I ate the pudding by itself, I think it would go well with hot apple cider or milk.
I didn’t get a chance to try any of these suggestions; I’d devoured the pudding before I bought anything to go with it.
The pudding is made from the pulp of wild American persimmons, also called native persimmons. According to prevention.com, one native persimmon (25 grams), contains 32 calories, .2 grams of protein, 8.38 grams of carbohydrates, .1 grams of fat and 16.5 milligrams of Vitamin C. Since the Vitamin C content of the persimmon is more than 20 percent of the Recommended Daily Value, this makes the native persimmon an “excellent source” of Vitamin C under United States Department of Agriculture guidelines.
The recipe used for an 8×8 pan uses 1 cup of persimmon pulp. Thankfully for this math-phobic Examiner’s sanity, GourmetSleuth.com has a widget to help with the conversion–one cup of raw native persimmons weighs 226.80 grams.
The love between Hoosiers and persimmons became a joke during the Civil War. According to Wikipedia, the 100th Indiana regiment was one of three nicknamed “the persimmon regiment”. During the first day of General Ulysses S. Grant’s march from Memphis, Tenn., to Vicksburg, Miss., the regiment ignored their orders to be rear guards after being distracted by an orchard of ripe persimmons. The unit spent so much time harvesting the fruit that they were arrested as stragglers, resulting in the nickname.
Although the nickname was originally derisive, it became a source of pride for years after the unit showed tremendous courage in battle.