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Morton the Mousse | Oct 13, 200501:56 PM     1

Mourning the end of stone fruit season? My first Hachiya persimmon always helps me forget about peaches.

When most folks think of persimmons they think of the Fuyu. Fuyus are what you'll find at the supermarket and most farmer's market stands. Fuyus have a hard and crisp texture, similar to apples. The flavor is subtle and slightly bitter. I like Fuyus, but they've got nothing on Hachiyas.

The Hachiya has a soft, gooey flesh that oozes into your mouth as you bite into it. They are sweet, perfect for making breads or pudding. I eat them raw for that end of the day dessert craving.

Hachiyas get a bad rap because it's almost impossible to find ripe ones. If you've had a Hachiya before it probably made your mouth feel weird and tingly and didn't taste very good. Those are the signs of an unripe Hachiya. It's extremely difficult to transport ripe Hachiyas, because the soft flesh makes them very fragile and they will often burst. Unfortunately they don't ripen well off the tree. So most of the Hachiyas you see for sale are unripe and inedible.

The only source I've found for ripe Hachiyas is Ram Dass Orchards, selling at the Tues/Sat Berkeley FM (and one in Marin as well, I think). The Hachiyas there are perfect, as is all of the fruit at Ram Dass. So stop mourning the end of peaches and go get a Hachiya. While you're at Ram Dass, you should also pick up a couple of their delicious pomegranates.

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