'Tis the season! No, I am not talking about Christmas here. 'Tis the season for PERSIMMONS. In this blog post, I'll share with you how to pick out really good persimmons and lots of delicious ways to eat persimmons and use them in your cooking!
Persimmons are one of my favorite fruits and I am always surprised when I come across people who don't know about them. So I am here to change that.
What's a persimmon?
Persimmons are a fruit native to Asia, and they are in season right now, during the winter. There are many different varieties of persimmons, but the most common ones I see in stores in New Jersey are the Hachiya persimmons and the Fuyu persimmons. Hachiyas are a bit longer and shaped like an acorn, and the Fuyus are more squat and flattened.
The Hachiyas are of the astringent variety, and must be absolutely ripe when eaten to get rid of all the astringency. They need to be so soft that you feel like they will break in your hand if you don't handle it gently. If you eat it before that point, it will give you that awful starchy velvety feeling all over your mouth and your love affair with persimmons will be over before it even begins. But if you let it ripen completely, it will have the most delectable delicious flavor that is worth waiting for.
The Fuyu persimmons can be eaten without being 100% ripe, so just let it ripen for a couple of days before eating it because otherwise they might still contain traces of astringency.
The one I am picturing here is the Hachiya persimmon because I haven't seen the Fuyus for sale in NJ recently. Both are equally delicious.
Persimmons are very low in sugar and calories for a fruit, and have a lot of vitamin C and a little bit of potassium.
How do you pick out a Persimmon?
Pick out firm persimmons that are bright orange without too much black staining. A little bit of black staining is fine, but don't pick one that has large dark black spots - the black will be on the inside as well and while there is no harm in eating that, it feels weird eating fruit with black spots inside.
Bringing home firm persimmons helps ensure that they are not crushed in the grocery bag on the way home. The persimmon will continue to ripen and soften over the next few days, whether you store it in the fridge or on the counter top.
How to eat persimmon
Gently rinse your persimmon and remove the dried flower with your hand or with a knife. Slice the persimmon into several slices or bite right into it. Be careful if you're eating the super soft Hachiya persimmon, you might get persimmon juices running down your arm - just like you would with a good juicy peach.
Do persimmons have seeds?
Some persimmons have large smooth seeds in them, although I haven't seen any seeds in years (where are all the seeds??). If you slice into it, you will be able to see whether there is a seed that needs to be removed.
This is the fun part. There are so many ways you can eat persimmons. They make a delicious, healthy, festive addition to many sweet and savory recipes.
Persimmons are AMAZING for breakfast and snacks:
- Add persimmons to a Greek yogurt bowl, perhaps with some cinnamon and agave syrup, or walnuts, sliced apples, and pomegranate seeds
- Add persimmons as a topping for a whipped cottage cheese bowl
- Blend persimmons with cottage cheese to make whipped cottage cheese, such as my mango whipped cottage cheese
- Blend persimmons into a smoothie
Persimmons are also great in savory recipes, such as salads:
- Puree persimmons and make a vinaigrette for a dressing, such as this persimmon salad
What to do with overripe persimmons
Blend overripe persimmons into smoothies, cottage cheese, or to use for quick breads!
So there you have it - persimmons! For those of you who have persimmons in their local stores - I urge you to go find some persimmons to try while they are in season.
Looking to try other lesser-known fruit and vegetable recipes? Check out these reader favorites:
- Roasted Jerusalem artichoke
- Mulberry syrup
- Mulberry puff pastry danishes
- Mulberry mojitos
- Mulberry iced tea
- Cajun roasted okra
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