Japanese persimmon fruit
Fresh figs, I'm hooked!
ii) Fresh figs or ichijiku in Japanese. Call me ignorant but I've only ever had the dry variety and thought they only grew figs in the Middle East. So I googled "how to eat fresh figs" and again opinions were mixed some saying skin on, some skin off. So I ate a whole punnet one night, they were so nice BUT warning! I didn't realise they had that same cleansing effect that prunes have. WOOOO! One a day next time.
Purple potato? No! Japanese akebi fruit
Inside of an akebi fruit
Open it up and the inside there is a mushy jelly containig hundreds of black pips. Now I just took a scoop full of the inside pips and all but the pips are really bitter so I spat them out. Maybe you're supposed to scoop out the pips as well and just eat the white bit leftover (which isn't much!) and tastes a bit like a banana, not sweet at all. If anyone could enlighten me!
Japanese Dragonfruit (the pink one at the bottom)
When you cut it open its a real WOW, bright bright purple/pink watery inside with black pips.
iv) Japanese Dragonfruit. Another weird looking one. Bright pink with soft spikey leaves on the outside. At ¥395 (about £2.70) each this has got to be a special one.
Inside of Japanese dragonfruit
Unlike the akebi you can eat the inside with no pip problems. It is sweet and has a similar consistency to watermelon but not quite as crunchy. Yum but still doesn't beat the figs and persimmon.
v) Chestnuts or kuri (栗) in Japanese. I've only had them roasted at Christmas time back home but here they boil them. Yes BOIL! Some teachers brought a huge bag of them into school pre-boiled. So all you do is cut them in half with a sharp knife and then scoop the inside out with a teaspoon. They actually taste great.
Mighty Japanese chestnutsKuri-gohan or Japanese chestnut rice is also abundant right now. Again one of my teachers bought in a huge container of kuri-gohan which we devoured in seconds at lunch. YUM!
Japanese pears are also a bit odd. They look like huge apples and are much crunchier than the European variety (which they call LaFrance pear- uhh? do you Japanese think they're only grown in France or something?!)