Growing up in the US, I was not aware of the existence of the persimmon until I was in my 20's. In fact, I had know about the color "persimmon" before I had known about the fruit. Now I notice that each fall, they start popping up in grocery stores and farmer's markets everywhere. I recently bought some at a road side fruit stand along Highway 5 in California and went looking on the internet to learn more.
I was blown away to find out how many different varieties there are. Wikipedia.com identifies at least 16 but breaks them down into two main categories; astringent and non-astringent. As a basic identifier, if they are acorn shaped - they are astringent, and if they are squat and bulbous - they are non-astringent. Unfortunately, I found that I had bought the astringent kind (probably the Hachiya variety) which are better off being cooked than eaten raw.
So here I am waiting for my giant tannic orange acorns to ripen, I started looking for persimmon recipes and this is what I've found:
- Traditional Indiana Persimmon Pudding from allrecipes.com
- A Raw Persimmon Pudding (which is basically persimmons and bananas blended together, but they say it makes for a good fruit salad dressing - and that sound good) via living-foods.com
- Persimmon chews (sounds complicated) from seasonalchef.com
- Persimmon Rice Pudding (also sounds complicated) also from seasonalchef.com.
- An intriguing Persimmon Chutney, also from seasonalchef.com, now this I might try, I love chutneys
- A Persimmon Fudge from fooddownunder.com
- From pinchmysalt.com some Persimmon Cookies that look really good in their pictures
- Persimmon Fruit Confetti, which is really just a fruit salad with persimmon in it from vegparadise.com
- The one that sounded the tastiest was Poached Persimmons in Rum w/ Mascarpone-Coconut Cream from whiteonricecouple.com
- There's no name for this but popping slices into your toaster oven with a dusting of cinnamon, from thekitchn.com
- And the fall salad with fuyu persimmons sounds really good from tuesdayrecipe.com
You can also just chop the tops off when they're super ripe and eat the innards out with a spoon. That's what I may end up doing - just soaking up the pure persimmony-ness.
I also frequently buy dried/dehydrated persimmon slices at my local market out of the bins. They seem to be available year round and make for a great snack in my car.
- Dave Koch