"Persimmons Make it Mitchell": Performing Identity in Pudding

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2008

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Foodways Section of the American Folklore Society

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The wide horizontal landscape of southern Indiana is interrupted by small rolling hills, which flatten out as quickly as they rise. Nestled on the edges of property lines, arching over fences, and dotting the twisting roads that pass through the small towns are the gnarled branches of one of the region's prized possessions, the persimmon tree. Persimmons grow wild throughout southern Indiana. Persimmons are harvested from October until early December and are completely inedible until processed. If you were to pick a persimmon off a tree and bite into it, the astringent and bitter taste would twist your face into a dangerous shape. Persimmons are best picked off the ground, nearly rotten looking, and are baked into fresh, delicious persimmon pudding.

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Article