fowl contemplation

Happy Place, Happy Space

There is so much to frown upon.

Rather than morosely contemplating the sad state of affairs at home and abroad, I have once again taken to the comfort and sanctity of nature.

Nipping into hidden groves of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, to avoid those enjoying the greenery on main paths, I am often surprised by the residents.

Red Jungle Fowl family; the chicks had already scattered into the undergrowth by the time my phone was whipped out.

Reading Dan Saladino‘s book, Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, and listening to various podcasts has kept my attention on the global food discourse. I discovered a family of podcasts by Whetstone Radio Collective.

A distinctive series of original podcasts focused on global foodways … bringing you narrative-based audio stories shared through the lens of food anthropology. Empathetic in origin, with cinematic sound, and intimate, curiosity-minded conversation …

Whetstone Magazine

I was attracted to Fruit Love Letters: The Persimmon – A Sweet Summer Package for Winter Eating as Epicurious Father extolls the virtues of dried persimmon. Ever since he tried some on a trip to Japan, he’s delighted in these silky, chewy honeyed gems. I haven’t had one in ages; they are rather expensive, if you can find them.

I learned from the podcast that hoshigaki (from the Japanese terms hoshi, meaning dried, and kaki, persimmon) are made following a centuries-old technique that is extremely labour-intensive; each fruit has to be massaged every day for 4-6 weeks!

Rather coincidentally, my food rescue grocer Ugly Food was clearing boxes of these dried fruit, at a fraction of the price I would pay in a specialty store. So I bought several for Epicurious Father.

I wasn’t planning to eat any myself, but after listening to the podcast, I had to reacquaint myself with this delectable powerhouse, bursting with sunshine.

The white dust on the surface is not icing sugar (or mold), but natural fructose which blooms on the surface.

The persimmon grower featured on the programme eats hers with a latte, just as it is. So I had mine with a cup of strong builder’s tea. Big smile.

Reading your Joyful Posts brings me to my happy place. I hope having them in one place makes it easier for you to find when you need a bit of happy therapy, too.

If you would like to join in Happy Place, Happy Space, ping back to this post and I will include you next week

This post is my contribution to

38 Comments

  1. We have a persimmon tree here, a very tall one of the old Hachiya type. It is very astringent until the first frost, and it is a race against the rainy season to get good fruit. But it is worth the wait. They are good!

    I love the red jungle fowl. The roosters are particularly colorful.

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    1. Oh my goodness! Hachiya are the variety typically used for making dried fruit!
      Astringent persimmons are so icky – but I’m guessing the window for perfect harvesting is a challenge.

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  2. I just had my first persimmon only a few short years ago and fell in love with them. What a delicious fruit! The dried ones must be even more intense in flavour. Fresh ones are hard enough to come by where I live…I doubt I will ever come across a dried one. Thanks for joining us, Ju-Lyn!

    Deb

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  3. Persimmons my favorite fruit of all, I purchased a persimmon tree a few months back, I talk to it all the time encouraging it to bare fruit I think we have to wait a year or 2, too exciting. The rooster is such striking colours, so proud, what fun to see the little feathered fam. Have a great rest of the week my friend.

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    1. Oh my goodness! You are growing persimmons in your garden! (I shouldn’t be surprised – you have such capable hands!) I hope you get to enjoy the delicious fruit soon!

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  4. Nature is indeed nourishing in troubled times, and your post nourishes me. Thank you for telling us about the Whetstone Radio Collective podcasts; they sound wonderful. And I love your persimmon story, with your perfect line describing them as a “delectable powerhouse, bursting with sunshine.” (And thank you so much for your very kind mention.)

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    1. I have been thinking on matters food sustainability etc etc … sometimes it makes me sad, but this round of rumination has recharged me. Perhaps because we actually have more options now in Singapore and I feel I can make choices towards what I feel is better for our world.

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  5. Oh, these guys are everywhere in The Ph! And I noted that book after seeing it on your Ig feed – definitely lool forward to reading it once I find it. I am sure it will be a good one.

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    1. That’s the thing about turning corners and venturing into unexplored areas – it is mostly fun, but sometimes also a fright!

      If you ever try persimmons, I hope you get a good ripe delicious one!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your photo of the jungle fowl reminds me again of happy times in Singapore Botanic Gardens, where the peace and solitude seems a million miles away from the city hustle and bustle just beyond its walls. And I always enjoy seeing the ancestor of the domesticated chicken living a wild. natural life…the male’s a very handsome fellow!

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    1. It is truly a sanctuary – I am always amazed to be reminded that the gardens are surrounded by major roads, and yet, the traffic sounds are not even noticeable in most areas within.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely post Ju-Lyn, it’s great how you can still find joy with what’s going on in the world. My hubby loves Persimmons the squishier the better! I am not a fan

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    1. Hard to find joy with all that’s going on, but we must find ways to both be aware and to find that joy. I really enjoyed seeing those chickens and reading about persimmons, which I have never had. Enjoy, enjoy!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am shocked and amazed to actually have in abundance a food that is an expensive rarity to you—for a change! Persimmons are common here, and they are indeed a treat. Strangely I never heard of them when I lived in Ohio, but moving to California has introduced me to all sorts of new foods. Still no durians, however. 😕

    My goodness I want to go off the beaten path in the gardens with you and see those beautiful birds. I want to get to Japan in the summer of 2022. Maybe I can hop on over to Singapore then. You have me drooling over your beautiful city as well as the delightful food you and Baking Daughter make! I’ll be sure not to stop in during Lent. I want the frosting! 😆

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    1. I hope your trip to Japan materialises. And yes, please consider popping into Singapore. My folks are also waiting with bated breath for Japan (or Taiwan) to open up to tourists – they are just chomping at the bit to travel again.

      Yes yes! Lots of persimmon growers in CA! Ours come all the way from Israel or Australia … so far to reach us.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ju-Lyn, Yes, tea and dried persimmon go well together, so yummy. I love the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Thank you for taking me there via your photo and for linking up with Weekend Coffee Share.

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    1. I am so glad I have brought a new food to your attention, Donna! Apparently there are many persimmon orchards in California! so maybe you will be able to get some. Listening to the podcast also prompts me to want to have a fresh fruit (the dried persimmon was delicious, but I recall the fresh to be much different!)

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