Tell me. How come folks pay more for a quart of atrophied white-shouldered, moldy-assed, ungainly Californicating strawberries than a voluptuous hachiya persimmon? Honestly! Strawberries in December give you that same queasy feeling as peaking at your presents under the tree (to employ an in-season metaphor). They're like porn when the girl next door is home alone doing the Sunday crossword in her lingerie.
Because a ripe persimmon is a skinful of quivering pumpkin-apricot jelly. It's translucent like amber, and'll give you googly eyes, and persists in dangling from denuded branches long into the winter, long after the leaves have fallen, and the snow, too. The persimmon was meant to make the autumn not just bearable, but exquisite: a study in the beauty of orange on grey, of sweetness in the rain, and something that could be called patience but is far too delicious to be so didactic. For some reason, we can't wait till May for our strawberries, and insist on eating the botox-flavored, injection-molded pretend strawberries they assemble in sunnier regions and ship north on tractor-trailers in December.
Of course I love strawberries! In May I frolic, I cavort, I gambol for my ruby-hearted strawberries. I dance all night and fall in love and make shortcake. Come December, though, I get wise and wrinkly and nibble (gobble, suck, slurp?) those sunny plump persimmons. And puzzle over 9 across.
Really. Tell me how they choke those strawberries down.