Today in Seoul 35: Persimmon Season

November 19, 2016

It’s persimmon season in Korea. It’s like apple season back home — the groceries and sidewalk vendors fill up with them. It seems so foreign and exotic to be eating a fruit called “persimmon,” but truth is Janet bought them in Denver, at the local Asian grocery store. There seems to be a whole folklore around persimmons. They’re apparently a Buddhist symbol of transformation, because the fruit’s color becomes more vibrant as it ripens, and its taste goes from bitter to sweet. Kind of like those sour green apples we picked and ate as kids that later became big and red and juicy… minus the symbolism. Also, apparently persimmons are also considered a symbol of the importance of cultural education in the upbringing of children, because the trees are propagated through grafts instead of from seeds. And it’s considered a particularly kind gift for people with trees to share the fruit with their neighbors who don’t. Nobody told me those things — I got them from Google. Seems like lots of times we don’t know about the symbols and customs in our own backyards — strangers read about them and think they’re part of our lives, but they’re not. Could be that way with what I’m telling you. I can tell you that some of our neighbors have trees — Janet took the pictures walking around our neighborhood. No, we didn’t steal the fruit — it came from the market down the street. Happy harvest, everyone!

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