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Gardener and Gourmet Newsletter

Want to know what's good in the market right now? Check this regular feature in each issue. We evaluate the local market for seasonal produce, and spotlight the best.

Citrus, pomegranates, Asian persimmons, figs, dates and, of course, cranberries, are all superb now.

Other good values are nuts, Belgian endive, radicchio, and artichokes.

Make sure Asian persimmons are fully ripe. They should be slightly yielding to the touch, uniformly orange-yellow in color, and fragrant. If eaten green, the oxalic acid content will make your mouth pucker, just like the native persimmons. In the Tennessee Valley, wild persimmons are only considered edible after the first frost. They are used to make jam that is uniquely "tropical" in flavor. Apparently, one can only taste native persimmons if one has a tree nearby. Asian persimmons, though, appear in the market each fall.

As a first course for an Asian meal, remove the top from an Asian persimmon, reserving it for use as a "cap." Place the persimmon pieces, cut side down, in a steamer, and steam until the flesh is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the seeds with a melon baller, and fill the cavity with a suitable sauce.

Miso Sauce for Vegetables or Fish

Combine 6 tablespoons white miso (shiro miso), 1/4 cup dashi, 1 tablespoon sake, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 tablespoon sugar, and one egg yolk in the top of a double boiler. Cook, stirring, over (not in) simmering water until thickened, about 5 minutes. Keeps three days, covered and refrigerated.

Gardener and Gourmet Newsletter
December 3, 1998 Vol. 1, No. 18
Copyright (C) 1998, John H. Tullock. All rights reserved.
Published twice a month by Gardener and Gourmet,
3405 East Red Bud Drive, Knoxville, TN 37920-3655
(423) 573-0373

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