Ripe time for persimmons

Sweet, crunchy and good for you...Raeburn Orchards owner Paul Casotti with a box of persimmons. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d401010
Sweet, crunchy and good for you...Raeburn Orchards owner Paul Casotti with a box of persimmons. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d401010

Brothers Peter and Paul Casotti and their wives Betty and Carol together own the orchard, which has been in the family since 1948.

They told the Canning Times the time is ripe to look to the fruit being picked now: the persimmon.

Paul Casotti said the public often overlooked persimmons, which originated in China.

‘People think they will taste like a tomato,’ he said.

‘I have had to convince the Australians ” Asians already know.’

In fact, the persimmon (the Casottis sell several varieties of the crunchier, non-astringent type) tastes far more like a sweet pear or melon.

‘We find a lot of people say they have never tried them,’ said Mrs Casotti.

‘They’re a really sweet fruit and they’re very good for you.’

Her brother-in-law agreed, saying they were ideal for pregnant women, containing far more folic acid than apples, and similar to pears. They performed well in cheese platters, especially alongside blue cheese.

The trees’ leaves become spectacular as autumn progresses; Mrs Casotti said couples frequently held pre-wedding photo shoots against the orchard’s green, yellow, orange and red riot of colour.

See editorial, pg 8