I just got back from the most romantic trip to Italy. No, really. I helped celebrate an anniversary, two weddings, and a surprise engagement.
Above, I’m strewing olive leaves before my friend Heather walks down the aisle to meet her sweetheart, Jonny, and have this sparkling ring slipped onto her finger. The 13th-century castle where the wedding took place is now a 5-star hotel, and the staff were kind enough to let me pitter-pat down the gravel driveway in my high heels and pluck a few leaves each from the olive trees that go all the way down to the bottom of the hill on which the castle is perched.
The wedding was beautiful, and we danced until the wee hours to mark the occasion.
A key part of all of the celebrating, of course, was the food. Hors d’Oeuvres, dinners, and desserts were sumptuous. But one of my most memorable food moments came at breakfast, the morning after the wedding, when I came across persimmons at the buffet table.
Persimmons, known as cachi (pronounced kah-ki) in Italy, are a popular fruit that can be found everywhere at this time of year. Unlike in the States, where persimmons are still unfamiliar to most people, in Italy they can be found at corner produce stands and high-end restaurants.
I went back for a few of these ripe, glowing orbs. If you look closely, you can see that they’re speckled on the inside, a trait I’m unfamiliar with, but they were just as sweet and velvety as the ones I’ve had.
In The New Persian Kitchen, I have a recipe for a no-bake persimmon cheesecake made with goat cheese and topped with nothing but blended ripe persimmons. The flavor of this fruit is so good that I didn’t want to disguise it by baking it in a cake, or some other preparation where its character would be lost. I’m really excited to share this recipe with you when the book comes out.
I have less than two months to finish the editing process, as the book must fly off to the printer in mid-November in order to be printed in time for April. I’m so grateful for my week away in the wonderland of Italy, now it’s back to my writing desk for the final push!
Photo of me by Mark Daniels