How to eat a Persimmon – The Persimmon fruit, originally grown in Asia thousands of years ago, is now found and grown all over the world. The Greek name of the fruit is Diospyros, which literally translates to the “food of the gods”. The orange-colored fruit is famous for its sweet, almost nectar-like taste. While there are over a thousand varieties of this originally oriental fruit available all over the world today, the most commonly consumed ones are the Hachiya and the Fuyu varieties.
Hachiya persimmons are heart-shaped. They have a very high content of the plant chemical tannins in them. This gives the fruit a bitter and tart taste till they are not fully ripe. This means that Hachiya persimmons cannot be eaten until they are fully ripe due to the presence of tannins. Once ripe, the fruit starts to burst out of the skin and is soft and mush-like from within.
Fuyu persimmons, on the other hand, are usually shaped like a tomato. They too contain tannins but in a comparatively less quantity making them less tart in taste. Fuyu persimmons can be eaten even when they are not fully ripe because of the low quantity of tannins in them. They are usually crunchy in their texture and one can bite into a Fuyu persimmon just like they would into an apple.
Persimmons, just like any other fruit, can be eaten in a wide variety of ways. They can be eaten raw and fresh just like an apple, dried and cooked. They are used extensively in confectionaries to make jellies, jams, pies, and puddings all over the world. The fruit is not just eaten in sweets and savories but also consumed in drinks, curries, and soups.
Persimmons are highly nutritious in nature. One small persimmon fruit is power-packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, fiber, and manganese. At the same time, the fruit is also low in calories. This makes it an excellent choice of fruit for people looking to lose weight too.
Apart from this, persimmons are rich in antioxidants. This property of the fruit proves beneficial in lowering the risk of heart problems and other chronic disorders. They also help in strengthening eyesight.
How to Eat a Persimmon – 4 Delicious Ways
The Hachiya variety being astringent in nature can only be eaten once they’re completely ripe. This is because the astringent property lends the fruit a bitter taste. They should be soft and almost jelly-like in their composition before they can be consumed. On the other hand, Fuyu persimmons, being non-astringent in nature, can be eaten both before they are ripe and after.
A few ways in which one can consume this delicious fruit is mentioned below-
#1 Persimmons Salad
Fresh and sweet persimmons make a great addition to both fruit salads and vegetable salads. They taste delicious when mixed directly with nuts and cheese and also with other fruits like pomegranates or with green vegetables like lettuce, onion, or even avocados. Give your usual house salad a twist by adding a fresh persimmon to it. These salads would not just be high on nutrients but also on taste!
Check out our delicious chicken florentine recipe as well.
#2 Persimmons Jam
Persimmons, just like every other fruit, can be cooked into a jam or a compote. The Hachiya varieties being soft and jelly-like naturally are the best option to choose for making persimmon jams. The jams can be made just like any other jam. You can also add condiments like cinnamon and nutmeg to give your persimmon jam an additional flavor.
#3 Persimmons Cake
Get baking with persimmons! Persimmons can be used as a key ingredient in almost all of the confections be it cakes, pies, jellies, or puddings! The sweet, honey-like taste complements any dessert that they’re added to. You can either directly bake or cook any of these desserts directly or you can pair up the persimmon fruit with other fruits. While the world has been going crazy on banana bread, you can go crazier and bake persimmon bread. The sweet taste gives you the freedom to experiment as well!
#4 Persimmons Smoothie
Persimmons are so versatile that one can not just eat them but can drink them too! The fruit can be used to make anything ranging from smoothies to cocktails to even soup. You can add persimmon with butternuts to make soup on that sick day or you can make fresh and refreshing cocktails with the fruit on a hot summer day. The sweet fruit goes with anything and everything.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1 How can you know that persimmon is ripe enough to eat?
The Hachiya persimmon quite literally starts to burst once they are ripe, making it easy to understand that they are now ready to eat. You can know when the fruit starts to ripen once the outer body starts to get soft. They need to fully ripen to rid themselves of tannins. You can also hasten the process of ripening a persimmon by covering it with paper. This ensures the release of ethylene fumes which speeds up the process.
Q2 What are the health benefits of persimmon?
Colorful fruits are in general supposed to be a rich source of a variety of vitamins and minerals. The persimmon fruit is no exception to this rule. The fruit is rich in vitamins, fibers, and minerals. They are a good source of natural sugar and a go-to choice for the health-conscious. Persimmons, being rich in antioxidants help to control inflammation levels and combat cardiac issues too. However, the fruit should be consumed in moderation as excess consumption can cause unwanted effects in the body.
Q3 How long can a persimmon fruit last once it ripens?
Persimmons generally take 3-4 days to ripen naturally. You can speed up the process to a day or two by storing it in a paper bag as well. Once the fruit ripens, it should ideally be consumed in a day or two. You can also store them in the refrigerator to sustain the fruit for longer. However, it is best if you consume it immediately after it ripens so as to not lose its benefits.
Q4 Why is the persimmon fruit more expensive than any other fruit?
The persimmon fruit is more expensive than any other fruit you find in the market because the propagation process of persimmon is costly. Persimmons grow on trees and the process of budding one is very difficult and requires a certain level of expertise. Less than 60% of the trees survive the digging process making the cultivation process lengthy and at the same time expensive. Once the fruit starts to bud, the rest of the part although is very easy. Persimmon fruits upon budding require very minimum care. They make for a good investment because of this.
Q5 How long does it take to cultivate persimmon?
Persimmon fruits are grown on trees. This originally oriental fruit is generally cultivated every 2-3 years. Since they are grown on trees, usually it takes a tree 2-3 years to reach enough maturity for persimmon buds to start spurting. However, some grafted trees can take only a year to start bearing fruits. This has been made possible because of advancements in agricultural science.
The persimmon fruit has been rightly termed the food of the gods by the Greeks. They taste like honey and are loaded with nutrients. One should definitely incorporate the fruit into their diet when it is the season for persimmons.
Unlike earlier times, when the persimmon fruit was available in very select places, today you can find the fruit in every city and market. This is because now the fruit is being cultivated all around the globe. There are close to 100 variants of the fruit however most people consume the 2 commonly found ones- Fuyu persimmon and Hachiya persimmon.
It is really important to know how to eat a persimmon fruit to enjoy its taste.
The sweet flavor of the fruit ensures that one can combine the fruit with anything and everything. You can mix them in your smoothies, juices, and cocktails. You can have them on your breakfast pancake, your afternoon salads, and your dinner soup! It is difficult to find fruit as versatile as the persimmon.