Honolulu Lite


Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Persimmons don’t add
a thing to guacamole

(Dear Lite-oholics: Suddenly realizing that "Honolulu Lite" is 10 years old, Charley suffered a retroactive grammar hernia and decided to take Christmas week off. He left behind a couple of holiday -- condensed -- columns from Lite's infant days, when it was just a little funny. Today's column ran on Dec. 7, 1993.)

This guacamole tastes funny," my wife said. "What'd you put in it?"

The usual, I said. Well, I added some onion salt. Gives it that, you know, mass-produced flavor.

"No," she said. "That's not it. What else?"

Uh, avocado, onion, salsa, garlic, tomato.

"That's it!" she said. "We didn't have any tomatoes."

Sure we did, I said. Right there on the counter. In the bowl. A bunch of them.

"Those aren't tomatoes," she said. "Those are persimmons."

I figured she was just pulling my leg, trying to get back at me for the time she accidentally made guacamole with frozen pea soup she found in the freezer. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard. She didn't think it was funny. Luckily, our guests couldn't tell the difference.

Richard Simmons? I asked.

"Not Richard Simmons," she said. "PERsimmons. Didn't you think it was unusual that someone would give us a box of tomatoes as a gift?"

Hey, it was from your family. What do I know? Besides, they looked like pretty good tomatoes. Although, now that you mention it, there weren't any seeds to speak of.

"They were persimmons, you peat moss," she said. "They are a traditional Christmas holiday treat, like walnuts."

I picked up one of the persimmons and tossed it up and down. It looked like a tomato. The size was right. It had that orangish hue that tomatoes have nowadays. It was hard enough to be a tomato. I mean, I think I could have played handball with it without breaking the skin.

What the hell is a persimmon, anyway? I asked.

"I don't know exactly," she said. "It's some kind of fruit and it's real expensive, like red bell peppers."

What do you do with them? I asked.

"You thank whoever gives them to you, that's what you do," she said. "Then you don't make guacamole out of them. You put them in a bowl on the dining-room table and a couple of weeks after Christmas, you throw them out."

Man, I said. I've never heard of a fruit like that. That's pretty wild. And it explains a lot.

"What do you mean?" she said.

That BLT I had for lunch yesterday. It tasted really weird. I thought it was that leftover bacon I found in the back of the meat drawer. I didn't know I was actually having a BLP.

"We didn't have any leftover bacon," she said.

What was it? I asked.

"Believe me," she said. "You don't want to know."

Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail

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