The newest two wild fruits we have experienced in Tennessee is the Persimmon and the Muskenine. The first time I tried a persimmon, I made a big mistake. I ate the fruit when it was green! It has a certain reaction in your mouth that makes you feel like you bit into a chunk of bitter tasting wax. It was dreadful! My face began to pucker and all I could think about was "how long will I feel like my mouth is stuck?". Next, I thought I would secretly get the rest of the family to experience this odd sensation. One by one each of the children began to pucker and reach for water until I realized another mistake. Never trick the kids when it comes to trying new food. They will never again trust your advice on what is good to eat. They think twice before they think about trying it. BUT, when I tried a very ripe, brightly colored orange persimmon, it was fantastic. It is even delightfully sweet with no bitter, waxy aftertaste! None of the children would believe me. Oh well, more for me!!!!
A neighbor gave me a bowl full of Muscadines which look like very large grapes. You eat them much like you would a grape and they are very sweet. I whipped up a batch of jelly from the berries and it was just so good. They simmered all day over the stove and the smell of them was enough to make you drool. That evening, the girls and I made a big batch of biscuits with some vegetable soup. On the fresh biscuits went the butter and the muscadine jelly! Wow! That was so good. I had a pretty good turn out of four, 1/2 pints of jelly! Now I am thinking about making some persimmon jelly!