Learn About Persimmons

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Persimmons?

Persimmons are tree-grown fruits widely produced in China.  There are two main varieties: hachiya and fuyu.  Hachiya persimmons are taller and narrow at the bottom, similar to an acorn, and have a green-yellow skin.  Fuyu persimmons are similar to tomatoes and have orange skin.  Fuyu persimmons have a firm skin and are bright orange when ripe while hachiya persimmons are soft and bright reddish-orange when ready to eat.  Both kinds of persimmon are prone to black spots on the skin, sometimes called sunburns, and are harmless.  They usually have few seeds and are similar in texture to mangos.

What Do Persimmons Taste Like?

Persimmons are usually sweet when ripe, but extremely astringent when unripe.  Overall, persimmons taste somewhat similar to an apple and citrus.  Fuyu and hachiya persimmons have a different flavor to one another.  Fuyu persimmons are usually sweeter earlier in the ripening process than hachiya persimmons.  Hachiya persimmons have a better chance of having a strong mouth-puckering taste if they have not ripened completely.

Learn About Persimmons
Whole and sliced persimmons on a wooden table.

How Do You Eat Persimmons?

Persimmons can be enjoyed raw or cooked.  Make sure to wash the fruit well because the skin is edible.  If the skin has a sunburn, you can peel the skin off and enjoy the fruit underneath.  Remove the stem, leaves, and seeds before eating.  Persimmons are often baked into breads, cakes, and cookies.  Jams, preserves, and marmalades benefit from persimmons.  Persimmons are often roasted or enjoyed dried.

Where Can You Buy Persimmons?

Persimmons are found in the produce section of the grocery store while they are in season, which is from September to January.

How Do You Store Persimmons?

Store persimmons in a cool, dry place until ripe.  Once ripe, place persimmons in an unsealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Fun Fact About Persimmons

There are over 2,000 varieties of persimmon.

Did You Know?

If your hachiya persimmons aren’t ripe, stick bananas next to them!  Bananas release ethylene, which ripens persimmons faster.

Recipes Using Persimmons

Oatmeal Persimmon Cookies

Make a few changes to your regular oatmeal raisin cookie recipe to create something new! Use pureed persimmon pulp in the wet ingredients. In the oat mixture, add cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Instead of raisins, use dried cranberries. Combine ingredients, scoop onto a baking sheet, and bake until cooked.

Persimmon Spiced Bread

Make a few changes to spiced bread with persimmons. Add pureed persimmon pulp and maple syrup to the wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into a loaf pan. Top with chopped cashews and walnuts then bake until cooked. Drizzle maple syrup over the top.

Glazed Persimmons

Simmer persimmons in a sweet glaze to serve as a topping over vanilla ice cream. Cut persimmons in half and place in saucepan. Next, add water, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and star anise. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Persimmon Smoothie

Whip up a sweet drink using persimmons. Add persimmons, maple syrup, milk, banana, vanilla yogurt, and cinnamon to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with shredded coconut before serving.

Persimmon Marinade

Throw persimmons in a savory marinade to add a new dimension of flavor. Start by pureeing persimmon pulp. Place persimmon puree in a large bowl. Then, add and combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and orange zest. Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. After removing chicken from the bowl, pour sauce into a saucepan and cook into a thick glaze. Coat cooked chicken in the glaze before serving.


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