/Kaki, My Antidepressant

Kaki, My Antidepressant

kako

As the days get shorter and the weather turns colder in Rome, I begin to feel a bit down and lethargic. Now for those of you diagnosing from home, you can rule out Seasonal Affective Disorder. My sadness is brought on by the constant thoughts that it will be 10 more months before I can have another prosciutto and fig sandwich on pizza bianca, stuffed mussels on the beach, or a burger at a BBQ. My mood is very much affected by the absence or abundance of food so fortunately, just when I start to sink into a depressive state from missing my summer favorites, autumn produce starts to peak.

Of all the amazing fall produce Rome has to offer, persimmon, called loti or kaki in Italian, give me the greatest euphoric effect. I prefer the soft skinned kako to the hard, vanilla flavored variety. As they are very tannic until they are overripe, I wait until the fruit’s skin almost pops from the weight of the mature fleshy pulp inside. I begin eating by using a spoon to slice off the very top, then carefully carve out the inner meat. The process does not end there, I then use my teeth to separate the little remaining pulp from the skin, making an awful mess. I should mention that it is unwise to eat kaki in public unless you want to give the impression that you are starving or a disastrously messy eater. By the time I get to the second phase of persimmon dissection, serotonin floods my synapses and I enter a state of pure bliss. Suddenly those 10 months don’t seem so difficult to handle.

2016-01-07T14:37:32+00:00 October 31st, 2009|Categories: Food & Wine|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Rossella October 31, 2009 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    I agree with you on the power of kaki. A lively color, a sense of abundance and easy to enjoy.
    Maybe they aren’t like apples that you can eat everywhere or bring with you.
    A spoon of kako is really a “toccasana”

  2. Katie November 1, 2009 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    E’ vero!

  3. Mick P November 2, 2009 at 10:14 am - Reply

    Another cachi fan here (I spell it that way, though I’m not saying it’s correct). I always eat them standing at the sink in the kitchen and by the end of it look like I’ve been involved in an explosion in a jam factory. I also eat the whole lot, skin and all, but then I’m an uncouth porcellino inglese.

  4. Diana Strinati Baur November 2, 2009 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    I love kaki too. I have two completely loaded down trees and race to eat them before they plop on the driveway. I started eating them when I lived in Germany, I never so much as had one cross my way in the states. In Germany they are known as “Vitaminbombe”, right, vitamin bombs, as they are high in Vitamin A and potassium. The tannins dissipate when the fruit ripens — but the levels remain high enough to have some “anti-tumor” qualities (boy if tannins are that great, I will doubly enjoy my barolo this evening).

  5. Katie November 3, 2009 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    @Mick cachi is actually the correct Italian way of spelling it. I use the “k” because when you see them in the markets in rome they often use the local spelling “kaki”. Im a kaki sink-side eater, too!

    @Diana Vitaminbombe is the most amazing name for a fruit i have ever heard. That cracks me up. How was that Barolo?

  6. Madeline November 21, 2009 at 4:48 am - Reply

    ahh thanks for the mouth watering description. I didn’t even know that kaki were persimmons, first because I’d never had a persimmon, but also because they are SO different!

  7. Summer Fruit: It’s The Pits June 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    […] life is an emotional roller coaster controlled by seasonal produce. When persimmons are peaking, I am the happiest person on the planet. When they disappear, depression sets in. For a […]

  8. The Five Day Bender with ┼×emsa November 14, 2010 at 1:53 am - Reply

    […] bread. We split a light and flavorful mushroom frittata followed by a delicious millefoglie with kaki. This, of course, left room for another dessert, gelato at Gelateria Corona in Largo […]

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