Each season has its own fruits and vegetables. Fall is known for its pumpkins and squash, but also for its unusual fruits like persimmons. Very popular in China, Korea, and Japan, these fruits are becoming popular in western markets. Due to its popularity, we decided to make an article on how to eat a persimmon, so the next time you find this fruit in your local market, you will know exactly what to do with it.
Persimmons, or “food of the Gods” (from the Greek name Diospyros) are an unusual yellowy-orange deliciously sweet fleshed fruit. Typically in season from September to December.
Persimmons can generally be found commercially in two varieties, non-astringent (Fuyu) and astringent (HACHIYA). It’s important to recognize the difference as they may look similar, but should actually be treated very differently and eaten at very different stages of ripeness.
Fuyus are squat and round like a tomato and should be eaten when firm and crisp and barely ripe. Generally speaking, they can be treated like apples. Sliced up or bitten into whole, skin included or peeled. This variety works well in salads, baked into pies and cakes, or even sliced onto pancakes for breakfast.
Hachiya is shaped more like a giant acorn and must be eaten when almost overripe otherwise they are tart and chalky. You will know that they are ready when they look like a water balloon ready to burst. Usually, they are too soft to slice and are best eaten cut in half simply scooping the flesh out with a spoon. In cooking is ideal for use in jams or compotes.
Persimmons taste like no other fruit. Imagine the best mango you ever had and roasted sweet pepper, with some cinnamon in the background. To understand the flavor of this fruit you really need to try for yourself.
They have a silky, slippery texture, and they are rich, tangy and sweet, all at the same time.
When choosing persimmons, look for ones that are deep red or orange, have glossy, smooth skin and have their green leaves intact.
Fuyus will be firm-ripe and ready to eat when you buy them, so put any you’re not eating right away in the coldest spot in your fridge. They’ll keep there for weeks, if not months.
Hachiyas need several days on your counter to soften up. If you buy them and they are not ready to eat stick a few bananas next to them. Bananas give off ethylene, which speeds the ripening process. Once Hachiyas are soft, move them to the fridge where they should keep for at least two or three more weeks.
Now that you already know what all these things about persimmons, it is time for sharing with you some of our favorite recipes we found online. But don’t stop. here, there are lots of other things to do!
Apple and Persimmon Tarte Tatin by Epicurious
Kale Salad with Persimmons, Feta, and Crisp Prosciutto by Epicurious
Steamed Persimmon Pudding by Martha Stewart
Ginger Persimmon Scone Muffins by Love and Olive Oil