When I first moved to California, the house we rented had a mature Fuyu persimmon tree in the front yard. I had never tasted them before and didn’t know what to make of them or even how to eat a persimmon.
The first thing I did was slice one like an apple and gingerly taste it. It was sublime. Sweet, crunchy and as vibrant as its bright orange skin. Not only can you eat them like an apple, but you can also cut them in half and scoop out the fruit with a spoon.
Persimmons, sometimes known as Sharon Fruit, are now one of my favorite fruits, and I look forward to their arrival in farmers’ markets each fall. Try one and I’m confident you will become a devotee, too.
Now, if you already have your fruit and know whether it’s a fuyu or hachiya, here are some tips for how to eat a persimmon:
1. Rinse the skin thoroughly, or peel it off.柿子的皮是可以食用的，食用前应彻底洗净。用流动的水清洗柿子，用干净的毛巾擦干外皮。
2. Cut off the green leaves.用刀切下叶子状的花和茎。
3. Fuyu persimmons are best when they are firm.像准备生苹果一样准备它们。把柿子从茎到尾切成两半，把果核分成两半。然后，把两个柿子切成细细的圆形或楔形。
4. Hachiya persimmons are best when they are mushy.Prepare them like you would raw avocado. Cut the persimmon in half and scoop out the soft flesh from each half. Or, cut off the top, like a soft boiled egg, and eat the gelantinous flesh from the remaining “bowl.”
Lee Reich, Ph.D., a farmdener (more than a gardener, less than a farmer) and author ofThe Ever Curious Gardener,花了很多时间和心思在柿子上。他指出，虽然吃柿子在亚洲很流行，但亚洲以外很少有人熟悉柿子，更不用说种植柿子了。
Why? There are three reasons: First, because they are somewhat hard to transplant (but not hard to grow). Second, because many cultivars are too soft for commercial shipping. And third, because the unripe fruits of some cultivars are considered astringent persimmons.
“Eating a thoroughly ripened persimmon is as pleasurable a gustatory experience as eating an unripe one is horrible,” Reich says in his book.
Two Types Of Persimmons
Tony Smith, owner ofNursery Enterprisesin Rexburg, Idaho, has extensive experience growing and eating persimmons.
A fan of the fruit, Smith notes: “Some of the most nutritious, enjoyable, and exotic foods at the grocery store are freshpersimmons. Don’t let the mystique ofpersimmonsintimidate you. You can easily grasp the concepts of how to eat them.”
In the United States, there are generally two types of commercially available persimmons, and they are quite different:
- Fuyus (non-astringent)are flat, round and best eaten while still firm, like an apple.
- Hachiyas (astringent)are elongated with a pointy tip and should only be eaten when fully ripe and quite soft.
How To Tell When Persimmons Are Ripe
Persimmons are an autumnal fruit that is foundmidsummer through late fall. When they’re at peak ripeness, not much compares to eating a persimmon fresh and unadorned.
How Do You Know If A Persimmon Is Ripe?
When they are soft, squishy and ready to burst (many people say they resemble water balloons when ripe), they’re ready to eat. If you like your fruit soft and juicy, like a ripe peach, Hachiyas are for you.
A ripe Fuyu will be firmer and crisp. For this reason, salads will generally call for Fuyus. So, if you like your fruit crisp and sweet, like an apple or a pear, Fuyus are a good bet.
How To Buy And Store Persimmons
When choosing persimmons, look for ones that are deep red or orange, have glossy, smooth skin and have their green leaves intact.
Tony Smith recommends buying both types of persimmons while they are still hard and crunchy. You can cut both Fuyus and Hachiyas into slices and eat them fresh. “The skin is edible, but some prefer to only eat the inside,” he notes. “Don’t eat the leafy part on top …. [Hachiyas] are sometimes so gooey that it’s like eating pudding from a bowl—delicious!”
How To Dry Persimmons
You can slice persimmons into rings and dry them in a dehydrator. Or, for a more low-tech experience,dry them the traditional Hoshigaki way. Dorothy Reinhold has a terrific how-to blog post showing this ancient Japanese process that involves skinning the fruit andhanging it to air-dry in a sunny window for several weeks.
Reinhold notes that both Fuyus and Hachiyas make for delicious dried fruit. “It’s true when the persimmons finish dehydrating, the v-shaped Hachiyas look prettier than the shriveled-up Fuyus. But the difference is only cosmetic.”
Common Uses For Persimmons
Given that Fuyus are crisp and sweet, they are similar to apples and pears. Alison Roman, author ofDining In,loves persimmons for their “demure honey-like sweetness and velvety texture.” Not overly sweet, with no acid to speak of, Roman also loves their bright orange color, their vaguely winter-squash flavor, and their slightly tannic skin.
Hachiyas’ soft and mushy texture makes them perfect for cooked dishes such as chutneys, relishes, purees, puddings, and pies.
Related Post:Growing Pumpkins
Chef-Owner Daniel Orr ofFARMbloomingtonin Bloomington, Indiana notes that persimmons get sweeter after the first frost. He suggests enjoying a sweet and spicy First-Frost Local Persimmon Martini made with persimmon purée, (see recipe below) mixed with white pepper, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice.
How To Eat A Persimmon: Persimmon Recipes
Here are some of our favorite recipes for persimmon season:
- Hachiya Persimmon Purée– Since many Hachiya persimmon uses call for purée.
- Fuyu Persimmon and Pear Salad with Spicy Pecans and Blue Cheese– This beautiful vegetarian salad is simple, elegant and filled with autumnal color. Adapted fromDining Inby Alison Roman.
- Fuyu Persimmon and Duck Salad with Hazelnut-Sherry Vinaigrette– Another classic salad. The Fuyu is perfect for this salad because its sweetness balances the richness of the duck.
- Sauteed Fuyu Persimmons and Green Beans with Chives-简单、健康、快捷、色彩丰富的素食配菜。
- Hachiya Persimmon Cake with Cream Cheese Icing– A delicious, moist cake that is sure to appeal to everyone.
- Persimmon Ice Cream– Yes, ice cream.
What are your tips for how to eat a persimmon? What are you favorite recipes? Let us know in the comments below!
I make Persimmon jam. It’s awesome.
That sounds delicious! It seems like the perfect fruit for canning.
I made the mistake of putting persimmons in.the refrigerator before letting them.ripe. if I take them out now they turn black. what should I do ?
There’s a few Persimmons native to the United States and Mexico, too–Diospyros virginiana is probably one of the most common ones. We grow lots of them here in the Ozarks–they’re smaller than the Asian types, but they’re absolutely delicious as well. They’re eaten late in the year when they’re soft–sometimes hanging on the tree still after all the leaves have dropped.
Hi Jennifer, thank you for the article on persimmon, they’re delicious. Is it OK to eat the persimmon ‘core’? I froze some persimmon but it turns out they defrost inedibly mushy. I was thinking of tossing an entire persimmon into a smoothie.
San Dimas, CA
I freeze my persimmons and then scoop out the pulp to make the best persimmon cookies, bread, and cakes. I use only the hachiya for my baking. They are wonderful.
I like oranges and the ones that we get now Are absolutely tasteless I bought persimmon this morning I hope it tastes on the sharp side and not too sweet and sickly but We will see.