After touring the Muslim market in Xi’an, we headed to the edge of the market, and before getting back into our tuktuk, we had two quick bites… First, these persimmon cakes that I just had to feature and the post is dedicated to Footloose, who is somewhat appalled by my limited and unfavorable stance towards persimmons. I will be honest, and say, I just haven’t tasted a nice ripe persimmon yet, so I am definitely a neophyte. At any rate, these fried persimmon cakes are common in Xi’an, and legend has it they go back hundreds of years to the Ming Dynasty, when on a military quest, soldiers decided to incorporate fresh persimmons with flour and fry them and they were so delightful that the snack are credited with helping overcome the opposing army… or at least that’s the shorthand version of the story.
Simply mix flour, ripe persimmon mash and sugar and form a batter/dough. Here it is a rather wet looking dough. Form into patties and put into hot fat and let it fry into a solid persimmon doughnut of sorts.
Notice the beautiful orange hue of the batter. I want to try this with ripe mangoes to see if that works… Or bananas for that matter.
The deep-fried cakes are cooled and sold for maybe 50 cents or so.
It was incredibly tasty, with enough fresh persimmon to make it fruity and flavorful, but with all the goodness of fried dough. Very nice. Footloose would be in persimmon heaven. :)
And nearby was a table of dried persimmons as well.
The night before, Mrs. MM and I bought several dried persimmons and I ate one of them while walking around. They were VERY good. I liked the dried version much, much better than the fresh persimmons I have tasted before — the flavor was sweet and concentrated, the texture a softer version of dried turkish apricots, and the color quite appealing. I should have definitely bought more dried persimmons to take home in our luggage. I am not a full persimmon convert yet, but the dried and fried versions were a pleasant revelation.