The persimmons seeds, scientifically known as Diospyros kaki, are little seeds of a few cm length but in their inside they keep a very interesting secret. Despite it is hard nowadays to find a seed inside the fruit, it is possible to cut in half the one of a Japanese Persimmon, a crossing between an apple but a variety of the persimmon with fruits similar to an apple.
Inside the seed there could be a shape of a piece of cutlery as a fork, a knife or a spoon
According to the folk tradition, the presence of each type of cutlery was a sign that would allow a prediction about the trend of the following winter.
With the knife there will be a bitter cold
With the fork a mild winter
With a spoon a lot of snow to shovel
Naturally the forecasts based on the seeds of persimmons were all but based on scientific methods, an the only reason why farmers were opening up the sprouts was to have fun and remember the ancient folklor tradition form the countryside.
Below: picture shared via Pexels
The persimmon seed can also be used for other interpretations, like the one that in Sicily, Italy, sees the representation of the cutlery as instead the “hand of Maria”, detail which turned the fruit into a sacred object.
In the area of Campania, still in Italy, the inside of the fruit was instead considered as the representation of Christ in the crucifix. This belief generated the name with which the fruit is called in the Neapolitan dialect
Legnasanta, literally “holy wood”
Below: an entire persimmon and one cut in half. Picture by Joe Ravi shared via Wikipedia – licence Creative Commons
Whichever pareidolic meaning it is found inside the persimmons, its tastiness and multiple nutritional qualities spread the fruit from China all the way to the word.
The persimmon trees is in China considered as a prodigious plant, linked by the tradition with 7 virtues:
long lasting life of the plant
Leaves which create great shadow
The branches of the tree offer a place for birds nesting
It is not attacked by parasites
The yellow/red leaves are a lively autumn decoration
The wood makes great fire
The abundant foliage offer abundant fertilizer for the plants
Who knows whether ancient Chine could have expected that, in Europe, their fruit would have gained a new virtue:
the forecast of winter time