27 November 2017

Persimmons or Amarphal or Ramphal: Hachiya and Fuyu Variety

Five days ago, my husband had some business to attend to in Dehradun. Going to bigger cities is something that we don't do often. In fact, we would be glad if transactions can be done online or through someone. We just loathe the pollution -the traffic, the crowd, the garbage, the horrible plight of non-human animals and the apathetic and cruel treatment of human beings to these poor earthlings!

So, to make the trip worthwhile, my husband and I would buy the fruits, groceries, vegetables, nuts and seeds that aren't available in the place we live.

This time, he took two varieties of persimmons -Hachiya and Fuyu, and other fruits like Thailand guava (huge and bland but tasty and crunchy), chicos, custard apple, canary melons, red grapes, Midknight oranges, etc.

The above picture is a variety of Hachiya. From medium size to large size, the fruit is a delight. Hachiya variety looks round but pointed and they are astringent or sappy, which means, they cannot be eaten when hard and firm. They have to ripen from top to bottom. They must be very soft, only then, sappiness goes, and they're enjoyable to eat.

A few of the vendors selling this variety shared their stories involving Hachiya. This variety is NOT popular among customers! At first, we were puzzled. Such beautiful and tasty fruit and people don't like it? There must be a reason.

There is only one explanation. And I'll go through that below. In the meantime, here's Fuyu variety.

Fuyu variety is the non-astringent variety. They are quite small, round but flat. These are the characteristics of the non-astringent persimmons -round and flat.

Until three days ago, we've been eating this variety the wrong way, or shall I say, eating it one way -the soft and ripe way!

My husband's experience in buying this variety this time gave some light as to  
when to eat Fuyu best, and that is, when they are hard and firm.
This goes back to the vendors' stories. People like this variety because they can be eaten immediately making it popular.
Customers only buy Fuyu!
And that is because, these fruits are displayed and sold hard and firm, never soft and ripe, and that is the first experience most customers have.
So, the moment they buy Hachiya and eat the same way they eat Fuyu,
the experience would be horrible
because Hachiya variety is astringent.
Nobody really likes a sappy tongue, right?

Also, not many have the curiosity to ask why and find out how to properly eat Hachiya persimmons! So, the next time they see the fruit, they'll pass by it remembering their
disgusting first experience.
The thing is, not many know how to eat it.
Even the sellers themselves!

So, now you know!
The next time you come across these fruits, buy them in loads, for they really taste good!

Just a few tips. We keep them in the fridge, wash them thoroughly, 
and eat them with their skin on
The skin of Fuyu is a little bit coarse, and tends to separate from the pulp 
once it is soft and ripe. When hard and firm, it is crunchy and sweet (an information 
we just paid attention to even though we've read the same info two years ago).

~two platters of fruit goodies: Midknight oranges, chico, local orange, guava, Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons~
  • Hindi people call persimmons Amarphal or immortal fruit OR Ramphal or fruit for the Gods.
  • In the Philippines, Filipinos call the fruit Mabolo. For 27 years in the Philippines, I'd never seen the fruit. I just heard it. Though I wondered before how does Mabolo fruit looked like. My imagination pictures a round and black fruit. 

15 August 2017

Stephen Grellet, Quaker Missionary

Though there are variants of this quote, I prefer the use of "fellow creature" because it embodies all creatures on earth, which makes sense since the author was a member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers) that practices vegetarianism and veganism as a reflection of the Peace Testimony, extending non-violence towards animals. 

We don't need to be a Quaker or a Christian or a Muslim or a Jain or a Hindu or a Buddhist to be good and kind to our fellow human beings and to all the non-human animals we share this planet with. After all, we are all Earthlings, citizens of the planet Earth!

Be vegan.
Non-human animals value their lives as much as we value hours.
Let peace reigns in our hearts and it begins on our plates. 

24 July 2017

I Am a Vegan Anarchist

I am a vegan anarchist because meat consumption is just one of the symptoms 
of a larger evil that pervades our society, which is capitalism.

The disease of capitalism erodes compassion and makes humans see, not only other creatures, 
but also other humans, as commodities which only have value for the profit that they may fetch 
in the market, regardless of all other considerations. 
A capitalist mind-set, not only prioritizes profit, but also terminates 
everything else that it sees as not marketable. 
Since values are arbitrarily set by the market, 
in a capitalist system, a large proportion of the planet’s beings, both living and non-living, 
are arbitrarily discarded, as the market sees no value in their existence. 
And the ones that are seen as valuable are most often seen as valuable only for their final value of profit, thereby leading to horrific holocaust-like conditions for all their existence 
until their ruthless extermination in the name of generating profit.

I am a vegan anarchist because when an animal or human being or a tree is tagged 
to have this value or that much value, it becomes a one-sided world - a world that is run 
by people whose personal interest is always put at the top, 
regardless of who suffers or dies. 
A road worker works hard so the rest of the world could have a pleasant journey 
or so goods could reach their final destination without getting rotten but is paid meagerly. 
Does his life and work least important among other kinds of work? 
Definitely not! 
The same goes to the life of a pig or any other animal. 
Does a pig’s 6-month life worth 10000 rupees? 
But the capitalist mind would say so! 
Only a vegan anarchist recognizes that all earthlings have inherent value of their own, 
that the pig’s life is invaluable - a value that can be determined by nobody. 
It can neither be sold nor bought. It cannot be traded for anything else. 
And as long as people put a monetary tag to anything, 
whether it’s  natural resource or human and non-human living being, 
exploitation, in any form, 
will never cease to exist.

Capitalist systems breed exploitation over cooperation, 
perpetuate control over empathy, 
and drive cruelty, death and destruction over love, life, and protection. 
Hence, I am a vegan anarchist because anarchism is the necessary solution 
for transforming the world into veganism. 

12 July 2017

Potato-Tomato Dish: Simple & Quick No Oil Recipe

If I were to get rid of one thing that I do every day that is cooking. Fortunately, I only cook once almost all the time except in some rare cases when we have great stuffs like mushrooms (it's a rarity around here) or when my husband and I feel like eating extra. When it happens it's always light. 
Like this recipe.
And this recipe is for two people. 

~my share~

What are needed?
  • 2-3 medium size potatoes (washed thoroughly, never peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 5-6 ripe tomatoes, preferably round variety because they're juicy (chopped)
  • salt to taste (I used a pinch since we're used to it already)
  • red chili powder, according to your preference (I used half a tsp.)
  • lemon juice, optional (I use it when it's too spicy for us)
  • 1-2 tbsp. poppy seeds, optional (I generally add them because we have them and they induce sleep
  • half to 1 a glass of water
What to do?
  • In a deep pan, add chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add salt and potatoes. Mix and cover on a low flame.
  • After a few minutes, add red chili powder and poppy seeds. Mix again.
  • Add little water at a time.
  • Cook until the tomatoes get smashed and the potatoes get cooked.
  • Check the taste.
  • Let it cool a little bit and serve.
  • Add lemon juice just before it is served. (Heat destroys vitamin C in lemon juice, but for the purpose of enhancing taste, lemon juice ca be added when the dish is still hot.)
~this time, this dish was eaten alone~

Serve alone or with roti!

~This one's with black and white sesame seeds. What a great way to eat sesame seeds!~
  • When I make it for lunch, we usually have this with roti and our roti is not the usual roti. It's made of whole wheat flour which is grounded in a bigger grain, meaning, it's not refined at all and it's full of bran (fiber) then with it are mixed grounded flax, melon seeds, and watermelon seeds (readily prepared with vitamin B12 so we won't be ingesting B12 in one go), sesame seeds and zero salt.   
  • Most of the times we eat this dish with one small roti each. Sometimes, half each of one big roti.
  • Our cooked food, especially with rice or roti or chapati, vegetables always weigh more than the roti. For example, for 1 roti we will have it with a big bowl of vegetable dish.

This recipe can certainly be modified. 
Do let me know in the comment section below. 
Use the section of what do you think of this recipe, too!