AUTUMN'S UNSUNG STAR: While everyone but everyone can describe a strawberry -- how it tastes, its juicy texture, how a tiny seed's crunch feels, the leafy tops and overall redness, too, some people struggle, a little, with the persimmon. They might start to describe a pomegranate before stopping and realizing it is not quite right, and they might say a persimmon looks like a tomato with a thatch of green, before deciding it looks more like an orange. But persimmons are big players in many a sweet and savory dish, and definitely come fall, when they pop up on Thanksgiving tables and in canning and jamming kitchens. Which all leads to this: Getting better acquainted with the tomato-looking, not-a-pomegranate fruit is key for cuisinaires and anyone who wants to fill out their fruitly knowledge. And a 20-year-along Orange County tradition gives foodies a chance to do so each November with a hometown-y afternoon in the park, where persimmons are the focus.
SO... if you were to tell someone you're doing persimmons in orange on almond this Sunday, Nov. 16, you'd be correct, even if they might be befuddled or amused. The Persimmon Party is indeed in Orange -- Pitcher Park, to be specific -- and Almond is one of the cross streets (Cambridge is the other). The red-orange orbs are the belles of the ball, but baked goods, tunes, the fire department museum, and other sweet doings dot the noon-to-3 p.m. gathering.
AS FOR... other fall traditions involving juicy fruitstuffs? Well, the annual olive gather-and-pick at Caltech was canceled for 2014, but medjool dates'll reign at a Yuma festival on Nov. 15. We do love those berries of springtime and summer, yes we do, but the persimmons and olives and dates of autumn serve as reminders that nature's bounty is vaster than we know.