As the holiday season approaches, persimmons are reaching their peak sweetness. If you haven’t cooked with persimmons before, this will help you get started. Keep reading for persimmon recipes and tips on choosing a ripe persimmon.
What is a persimmon?
There are over 2,000 varieties of persimmons, but there are two types that are widely available in American grocery stores: the fuyu and the hachiya. Both of these varieties originated in Japan, and are in season between October and January. This late season makes persimmons the perfect fruit to add a little freshness and sweetness to winter dinner.
Persimmons have a delicate honey-like flavor and silky texture. They can be eaten fresh, dried, or cooked, and are very versatile in recipes. Persimmon peels are completely edible. Whether or not to peel the fruit is a matter of personal preference and the recipe that you’re using.
How can you tell if a persimmon is ripe?
Persimmons fall into two broad categories: astringent and non-astringent. Astringent persimmons, like the pointy-bottomed hachiya, should be softer than you think. Don’t look for the gentle give of a peach, a ripe hachiya persimmon should be closer to the texture of jelly. If an astringent persimmon is eaten before it’s totally ripe, it will have an unpleasant dry texture.
Non-astringent persimmons, like the flat-bottomed fuyu, can be eaten when they’re still slightly firm.
How to cut persimmons
Cutting this fruit is simple. Use a knife to cut around the base of the stem and remove it completely. Cut the persimmon in half pole to pole. Use a knife to remove the white core of the fruit and discard it. Once the core has been removed you can either slice or dice the persimmon according to your recipe. The entire peel is edible.
What to make with persimmons?
Persimmons can be the start of sweet or savory dishes. A sliced persimmon will add a subtle sweetness to rice dishes, salads, or even sandwiches. These are some of our favorite recipes using persimmons.
Love cooking with fruit? Find more sweet and savory dinner ideas here.