Mustard Greens

LORELAI: I’m so happy for Sookie. I mean, it’s like a real live love story, and I saw it all happen. I mean, I hired Jackson. I watched them meet. I watched them have several bizarrely intense arguments over mustard greens. I watched them fall in love.

Mustard greens are the leaves of the mustard plant (Brassica juncea), also known as brown mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, leaf mustard, Oriental mustard and vegetable mustard. The plant has been cultivated in Asia and Europe for more than 2000 years, and is used in salads, soups, stews, and stir-fries, as well as pickles. It has a bitter, peppery flavour which matches well with beans, lentils, pork, ham, tofu, onions, garlic, and lemon.

Persimmons

LORELAI: Hey, why isn’t Jackson here?

SOOKIE: Oh, he’s singing to his persimmons tonight. They’ve been a little sour lately.

Persimmons are the edible fruit of a number of species of tree in the genus Diopyros. Technically the fruit is a berry, although not often thought of that way. The most commonly cultivated is the Oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki) – one of the most commonly human-grown fruit trees on Earth, and first cultivated in China more than 2000 years ago, then spread to Japan and Korea in the Middle Ages. It was introduced to southern Europe and California in the 1800s.

Jackson may be growing American persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) [pictured], native to the eastern states of the US, and very hardy in cold weather. They’re harvested in the fall, and eaten fresh or used in baked goods and steamed puddings. Jackson’s persimmons are months away from harvest, so no wonder they are sour! The fruit is very astringent or even bitter unless it is fully ripened.

The previous year, Jackson danced to his watermelons and threw his back out.

Zinnias

Taylor bemoans the fact that Luke won’t beautify his diner, and suggests that some pots of zinnias outside would freshen the place up.

Zinnias are colourful long-stemmed flowers which are members of the sunflower family. They are native to an area which stretches from the south-west of the United States to South America, with most species originating in Mexico. They are hardy, long-blooming, cheerful-looking flowers which attract bees and butterflies, making them a favourite with home gardeners.

Zinnias symbolise endurance, so Taylor wishing Stars Hollow to be decorated with zinnias could be a sign that he values the history of the town, and wishes for it to last for many more years.