Persimmons

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The fall fruit I most look forward to is the persimmon.  Unlike other fall fruits, like apples and pears, which are available year-round, you can really only find persimmons in the fall.  That is, if you can get them.  While they are abundant in California, they were a rare treat when I grew up on the East Coast.  In fact, my first memory of enjoying the sweet, pudding-like flesh of a super-ripe Hachiya persimmon (the heart-shaped variety pictured above) was at at family friend’s hutong in Beijing, China.  The family stored their super-ripe Hachiyas in the freezer, after which they could be enjoyed like a sorbet.

Unlike Hachiyas, which need to be completely ripe to be eaten (if you forget, the mouth-puckering astringency of your first bite will be an unforgettable reminder), the paler, flat-topped and bottomed Fuyu variety can be eaten while firm and crisp, like an apple.  I also to add sliced Fuyus to add a little sweetness to salads.

Persimmons are not just a seasonal, sweet treat, they’re also an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin A and C, Vitamin B6, potassium and the mineral manganese.  I prefer to eat persimmons on their own, but some people bake them into puddings and desserts.

What’s your favorite variety of persimmon, and what recipes do you use them in?

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One response

  1. A lovely remembrance from my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher. Thanks Marcie!

    Persimmons were part of my early life in Lodi. Everyone had trees and in the olden days they were most Hachiya. Later people planted Fuyus. My grandmother and aunt would call their friends to ask if we could go pick them and often they had big bags of them ready.

    My grandmother ate the ripe Hachiyas in a bowl as they were. Later I bought Fuyus to slice ripe into salads and when they ripened they were like Hachiyas.

    They were part of the abundance of autumn. My grandmother had two pomegranate trees, my uncle grew figs, grapes, chestnuts, and many other herbs and vegetables. My mom made pomegranate jelly every years which was so beautiful.

    My sister makes persimmon cookies and bread. I like them frozen, too.

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