19# Fruitcake: the gift that keeps on giving

American journalist and humorist Calvin Trillin theorized that there is only one fruitcake and that it is simply sent from family to family each year. What is true, is that most Americans turn their noses at the very thought of fruitcake even though, for some reason, this item keeps making the rounds and this is made possible because the cakes are soaked in alcohol or other liquors to keep them from go bad. Don’t believe me? This man sampled a cake that someone had kept as a family heirloom dating…

Read More

How to predict winter weather using a persimmon seed: a curious peasant legend

According to weather folklore, you can predict winter weather with a persimmon seed. The seeds of the persimmon, scientifically known as Diospyros kaki, are small grains of a few centimeters in length. If you find a locally-grown persimmon (a locally-grown persimmon is necessary because it will reflect local conditions!), all you have to do is cut open the seed and observe: inside the seed may appear the shape of a cutlery such as a fork, a knife or a spoon. According to peasant tradition, the presence of cutlery was a…

Read More