Thursday, December 16, 2010

Now I Can Say I Tried It: Persimmons

We're coming to the end of persimmon season — September through December, peaking in November — and I wanted to try one before it's too late. As the title of this post suggests, this was my first time tasting the brightly colored fruit. My association with persimmons is more from Japanese art than from flavor and I wanted to change that. I picked up two varieties at the co-op: Hachiya and Fuyu. 

The Hachiya is slightly acorn shaped and is best eaten when it is very ripe. Until it is fully ripened, it has an extremely bitter, astringent flavor. Once it is ripe, that bitterness has mellowed to a strong sweet flavor with a little bit of spice. You cut it in half and remove the core. The flesh can then be scooped out with a spoon. I really liked this texture and flavor.

The Fuyu is shaped more like a squat tomato than the Hachiya and has a crisper texture. It is slightly smaller and sweeter, too. I cut this one up into slices like an apple to eat it. I think next time I would remove the skin as it was a bit harder than I would like. Overall, I preferred the Hachiya.

For those of you newer readers, this is a bog feature that shows up every now and again. You can read about my experiences trying new foods like lychees, Ugli fruit, kumquats, and pea shoots.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cleveland Bazaar Bizarre Recap and Treats

Hello! After a busy weekend in Cleveland for the Bazaar Bizarre, I got to spend an extra night in the hotel with the snow and wind blustering outside. I'm slowly catching up this week and am finally here with an update… The show was a great collection of vendors and I spent Sunday night spreading my purchases around me on the bed in the hotel and soaking in their goodness. Here's a look:
This one is the absolute highlight. Nope, not a gift. This one is all for me. It's a beautiful silkscreen from the extremely talented duo that is The Bubble Process. I took several trips over to their display to ooh and aah and try to narrow down my purchasing choice. I truly wanted all of them. The color choices are magnificent and I just adore the quality of drawing and line work. I encourage you to have a look at their web site. Gorgeous work. Sigh…
The makers of this lovely bracelet were my neighbors at the show, Lew and Melissa of Whimsical Wonders out of Pittsburgh. They specialize in repurposing silver-plated silverware and simply could not be a nicer pair of folks. Isn't it fun?
One of my other table neighbors, Lindsay Knits, turned me on to this Cleveland-based chocolate company, Lilly. One word: addictive. This chocolate is so good. I can't make that clear enough. The ones I bought have bits of toffee in them and sea salt. Buy some. Now. 
And, of course, some super fun beer tags from my fellow Michigan road trippers, Perfect Laughter. Yay! 
 This sweet crabby crab mug from the sweet, smart Rough and Perfect
And, my parting shot… when I downloaded my photos today, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the one snap I took across the room (darn me, for not taking more!) includes a glimpse of Valerie Mayen of Project Runway fame. She was selling her Yellowcake wares just across the aisle from me. Fun! 

This barely touches on the level of talent at this show. Have a look through the vendor list for more, including some of my other favorites: Hero Design Studio, Holly Hue, Oddball Press, Grey Cardigan and Cleo Dee's.