Persimmon season is coming, people. Persimmon season is in mid-autumn, after most trees have lost their leaves. Persimmons are usually a reddish-orange color, and look sort of like a tomato because of the prominent, green calyx. Many people have been turned off by the fruit because they have eaten them unripe. When persimmons are not completely ripe, they are bitter and astringent. But if you wait until they are so ripe that they are mushy-soft and you can actually see through the skin a little bit and see the veining underneath, then they are ready and they are DELICIOUS. They are very sweet with no acidity but a rich flavor, the way dates are. The flavor is a rich and sweet and honey like with light spice and pumpkin notes. They are VERY TASTY and WORTH TRYING.
I have posted some pictures so you know what you are looking for. One of the most common varieties you find in stores is the 'hachiya', which has an acorn-like shape - this is the one I buy. The other kind you might find is called 'fuyu' and is smaller. The fuyu variety is what is called a non-astringent variety - it is NOT disgusting and astringent when uner-ripe. There are other non-astringent varieties - but the only ones I have ever seen in stores is hachiya and fuyu, so I always get the hachiya, because the types where you have to wait until they're fully ripe are so much better when they are fully ripe than the non-astringent ones ever will be. The only advantage of the non-astringent types is that they are harder/"crunchier" than the non-astringent types, which can only be eaten when they are soft like pudding.
After I buy some, I store them calyx (the green leafy thing) side down so that they don't squish or become mis-shapen, and wait 2-3 days until they are ripe. Then you can peel them and eat up the flesh with a fork and knife - there may be a few large seeds.
Please give this fruit a chance. If you cannot find it, look in your typical affordable grocer, or in Asian communities/shops. Apparently the American species is common in the South (where I think they call them "pawpaws"), but the fruits are just left to rot on the ground after they fall off the tree! What a waste! More people need to know about this fruit both for their own enjoyment and so that the demand raises and I can find it in more shops (heehee).
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