Despite the fact that it's Winter, don't limit your fruit intake to oranges, bananas, and apples. Next time you're at the market, pick up a few persimmons. The sweet, mild-flavored fruits, which originate from Asia, are in season between November and February.
Persimmons are bountiful in Asia, and are popular yard fruit trees in the United States, but if you've never enjoyed a persimmon before, know that there are two distinctly different kinds: fuyu persimmons and hachiyas. While they're both persimmons, fuyus and hachiyas have striking differences. Learn more about them when you
Orange-red, acorn-shaped hachiya persimmons are very astringent when unripe, which means that if you eat them before their prime, you'll experience a bitter, tannic, chalky taste. When ready to eat, the variety will be soft and squishy to the touch with a jelly-like texture.
In contrast, tomato-shaped, light orange-hued fuyus are ripe when they are firm, yet give slightly to the touch, much like a peach. While the two kinds of persimmons are distinct, they're both aromatic and sweet. Here are some ideas for enjoying both of them:
- Freeze soft hachiyas and eat them instead of ice cream.
- Slice fuyus either cross-sectionally, like apples; or, for a pretty presentation, slice them laterally to show off their seeds' natural asterisk pattern.
- Purée extremely ripe persimmons and mix into nutty batter for an enticing bread.
- Use ripe hachiyas to make persimmon pudding.
- Slice fuyus into a salad for added crunch, color, and flavor.
Have you been afraid to try persimmons until now? If you're already a fan, tell me how you like to enjoy them below.