Eat Like a Local in Philadelphia
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63rd Annual Persimmon Festival

Submitted by on September 17, 2009 – 9:15 pmNo Comment

Persimmon FestivalThe 63rd Annual Persimmon Festival takes place in Mitchell, Indiana, September 19-26, 2009. The kickoff event on the first evening is a candlelight tour in Spring Mill State Park. Carnival rides, food, contests and performances begin on September 21. Exhibits include antique tractors and machinery, historic automobiles, art and crafts. An entertainment stage hosts various performers throughout the week. Highlight is the Grand Persimmon Festival Parade at 2 p.m. on the closing day, September 26.

The festival originated as a celebration of persimmon, a little-known small, reddish-orange fruit that grows on trees throughout the Lawrence County area. The persimmon is legendary in local cuisine, so, of course, there’s a persimmon pudding contest — September 26 this year. First place last year went to Eva Powell — her recipe is in this year’s festival booklet. If you want to compete, your pudding must be molded to a 4-inch by 4-inch piece on an 8- or 9-inch paper plate covered with either wax paper or plastic wrap (with no topping of any kind). Questions? It’s best to phone the chairman, Alverta Hart, in advance at 812:849-3441. Surprise: there is no entry fee.

If you want to take some persimmon along with you on your Road Trip (or are driving through Mitchell when it’s not festival time), stop in nearby Bedford at Applacres (9104 State Road 37) or Seeds & Such, Inc. (1105 R Street) to purchase persimmon pulp — and you can bake persimmon pudding at home! Need a recipe? Go here for two more prize winners.

indiana_mitchellRoad Trip Foodies meandering through Mitchell during the festival can time their arrival for their favorite down-home meal. Local churches and charities serve dinner in the Main Food Tent on 7th Street from 4:30 p.m. “until the food is gone”. Here’s the schedule: September 21 – lasagna; September 22 – pork dinner; September 23 – Italian dinner; September 24 – ham, beans and cornbread; September 25 – fish fry, and September 26 – barbecued chicken. Note that on Wednesday and Saturday, the dinners also are served for lunch, starting at 11 a.m. Other groups also will be serving food from 11 a.m. ’til closing each day, so there’s no way you’ll go away hungry.

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