Fall - Persimmon

How to select for best flavor:

There are two varieties of persimmon: The Kaki from Japan and the Sharon Fruit, or Fuyu, often from Israel. The Fuyu can be eaten when firm and has no seeds but is nowhere near as flavorful as the Kaki. The Kaki should be bought when very soft, even a little shriveled, and it should have a very rich scent. The fruit should be plump, the skin glossy and the green stem still attached. Avoid fruit that is bruised, decayed or hard.

 

Peak of the season:

California provides most of the persimmons to the United States from September through mid-December. The peak is from late October through November. Persimmons used to be only a specialty item available in Los Angeles and New York. That is changing as the fruit becomes popular and more are imported from Asia.

 

Nutritional value:

One persimmon will provide about half the vitamin A you need every day, although with a fair amount of vitamin C. It has about 77 calories and, of course, no cholesterol.

 

General information:

Unripe persimmons are nearly inedible. Anyone who eats one by mistake may never even want to think about eating one again. Captain John Smith, the early British settler in Virginia said, “…if it is unripe, it will drive a man’s mouth awry with much torment.” He was right. Be sure that you eat persimmons when they are completely ripe, almost overripe. When they are ready, they will be almost translucent. The deep orange or red color doesn’t indicate ripeness as persimmons get their color long before they are ripe.

A firm persimmon can be ripened at home inside a bag at room temperature. Some people say that you put an apple in the bag with the persimmons, it will help the ripening.