What is persimmon?
A persimmon is an edible fruit, a berry, specifically, that grows on a variety of trees in the genus Diospyros.
What does a persimmon taste like?
Persimmons are a delicious fruit. They have a sweet honeyed taste. The are kind of a mix between a mango and a capsicum in a weird way. Persimmons also have a little hint of cinnamon that comes through. Persimmons taste both tangy and sweet. There is really no other fruit like them.
Types of persimmon
There are two very different types of persimmon.
Hachiya versus Fuyu
Hachiya, is acorn-shaped and needs to be almost melting in texture before you eat it. Taste too early and you’ll come away with a mouth full of tannin.
Fuyu, is smaller and flatter, but can be eaten when it is rock-hard and still taste great. Fuyu persimmons are the best tasting persimmons to grow, and the most resilient! Also known as Fuyugaki, Diospyros kaki, Fuyu persimmons account for approximately 80% of the persimmon market.
Best ways to eat persimmon fruit
Fuyus: Cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces and toss lime juice and chopped cilantro to make a salad.
Hachiya: Place the fruit upside-down in a bowl and cut through the skin in quarters; spoon in a dollop of bourbon-flavored whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts.
Also note, the skin of the persimmon is edible and not too hard to eat. So you can eat a persimmon how you would eat an apple. You can also peel the skin off and slice it too.
Fruit that is similar to persimmon
There really isn’t a fruit like persimmon. However, if you are looking for a persimmon substitute In baking you can use plums or pumpkin. Mashed pumpkin is actually a great substitute in many different recipes. And, persimmons are a tree fruit related to the date plum, the black sapote, and the mabolo.
How to ripen a persimmon
Unripe persimmons can take a few days to ripen. To ripen persimmon keep them at room temperature until ripe. You can speed up the ripening process by putting them in a closed paper bag at room temperature with an apple. Apples release ethylene, a gas that helps fruit ripen faster. They usually take three to six days to ripen. Once your persimmon is ripe you should eat it straight away.
Health benefits of persimmon
- The leaves of the persimmon fruit are also high in vitamin C, tannins and fiber, as well as a common ingredient in therapeutic teas.
- Persimmons contain antioxidants including quercetin and kaempferol. A diet rich in flavonoids has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Persimmons may improve vision. They contain a lot of vitamin A which is critical for eye health. Just one persimmon gives you at more than half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
- Persimmons have more fiber than apples.
Best ways to add persimmon to your diet
- Slice it up and add it to salads
- Put sliced persimmon on your morning cereal or oatmeal
- Add persimmon to yoghurt for a healthy snack
- Replace berries with persimmon in baked recipes
- Add persimmon to smoothies
- Make persimmon preserve or jam
- Add persimmon to your cake or as a filling in baked goods
Persimmon folklore – how persimmons predict the weather
The severity of the upcoming winter is said to be predictable by slicing a persimmon seed and observing the cutlery shaped formation within it in Ozark folklore. If the persimmon seed inside looks like a fork this means the winter will be mild; if it looks like a spoon then there will be a lot of snow. Finally, if there is a knife, winter will be VERY cold and “cut like a knife.” Interestingly, in Korean folklore the dried persimmon is known for scaring away tigers.
Have you tried persimmon before? Did persimmon taste how you expected? And if you are a persimmon fan what is your favorite way to eat it? I like it fresh just like most other fruits and I do love it added to salad for something unexpected and different.