Persimmons! Persimmons! Persimmons!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fuyu Persimmon
Fuyu Persimmons (not the Hachiya)

I heart persimmons.
Seriously, I want to marry the persimmon (well, along with lemon curd).

In Los Angeles, "fall" isn't a season of frost (for example, yesterday was over 80 degrees!) and changing leaves (soooo jealous of that!) Each year, fall begins with the appearance of my beloved fuyu persimmons.

Fuyu Persimmon
Okay. There are TWO types of persimmons and it is soooo important to know the difference! The Fuyu persimmon can be eating hard like an apple or soft for pulp. However, the Hachiya persimmon is shaped like a human heart or acorn and can only be eaten fully ripe and soft. If you bite into a Hachiya before it is soft, you will, sadly, probably never eat a persimmon again. The unripe Hachiya tastes like chalk and scar you for life.

My parents have a FUYU persimmon tree in their backyard. My paternal grandmother gave one tree to each of her 4 boys (leaving out the 2 girls!) They've had it since I was a little girl. Now that my dad is 76 years old, I've been helping them climb the ladder and pick the kaki (Japanese for persimmon).

Fuyu persimmons
You can eat fuyu persimmons like an apple. I like to peel the skin. It's a perfect snack. During persimmon seasons, I'm averaging about two a day!

Spinach Persimmon Pomegrante Salad
They are also brilliant (I mean brilliant) in salads. Oh my gosh delicious. This is a baby spinach, fuyu persimmon, pomegranate and goat cheese salad with a citrus vinaigrette. It's perfect for Thanksgiving!

Dehydrating fuyu persimmons Dehydrating fuyu persimmons
We also like to dry persimmons. I use a mandolin to make uniform slices of the persimmons. After my dad's old dehydrator finally died, I bought him an early Christmas gift. The different colors are due to ripeness of the fruit: darker orange = more ripe.

Dried Fuyu Persimmon
4 hours later! Little pieces of natural candy.
(To Pam Jam: I'm mailing these to you tomorrow!)

You should definitely try them! What do they taste like? Since I've been eating them forever...to me, they taste like persimmons! (Know what I mean? What does an orange taste like? Well, like an orange!) Here is my attempt to describe the fuyu persimmon:
sorta like a cinnamon apple.
crisp, rich flavorful fall fruit.
eaten hard or soft. never mealy.

Fuyu Persimmons grown in Los AngelesFuyu Persimmons grown in Los Angeles
I'm so glad they are readily available now...they used to be an Asian family secret :) But, like sushi, edamame, wasabi, Panko breadcrumbs, and ramen, they are now mainstream. Try the fuyu persimmon! You won't be disappointed.
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22 comments:

Emily said... [Reply to comment]

Oooo! I saw your persimmons and couldn't not say how jealous I am! I tried these for the first time when I lived in Germany and could not get enough! I especially loved them in salads with yogurt/herb dressings! Thanks for the great idea of drying them! If I ever find them again I will definately do this!

Peabody said... [Reply to comment]

The salad looks nice and Fall like. And I don't think I have every had a dried persimmons.

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you..I am a nerd and have been eagerly awaiting your persimmon post since you mentioned them in the cookie recipe recently. That is amazing. I am going to stalk the Whole Foods and be on the lookout for them. Thank you for that post!

Jess said... [Reply to comment]

Ah, persimmons...yet another thing I miss about California! Someone is probably dumping a trug full of them on my mother's doorstep as I write. We get some shriveled ones for $2 each here in CT, but they're not worth it. But maybe in Sunset persimmon bread...

Snooky doodle said... [Reply to comment]

wow i didn t know there are two types of persimons and how many uses you can make with them . W call them Kaki here too :)

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

Gorgeous salad!! And I love dried fruit, I bet the persimmons are amazing!!

kat said... [Reply to comment]

We were just at the san francisco farmer's market this weekend & the persimmons looked beautiful, I wish we could fly a whole bunch home to Minneapolis. They gave me a bunch of recipes to bake with them too

Monica H said... [Reply to comment]

I have never eaten a persimmon, but I love their color and I think they're beautiful.

I even had a t-shirt that was persimmon colored, does that count? no?

I love the varying shades of dehydrated fruit. Thanks for explaining the two types, so when I do see them in the store, I'll get the right ones.

Esi said... [Reply to comment]

I tried to do something similar the other day, but I think the secret to making them like yours is to have the dehydrator. Nice!

Maricriss said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness, maybe this is why I don't like persimmon. The first time I ate it (yes I didn't know anything about them and bought them for myself) it tasted like chalk. So I never tried it again.

Always wondered why people liked it so much. Now I think I'll have to try it again. Thanks for the info.

pinkstripes said... [Reply to comment]

Okay, I've been seeing persimmons at the farmers' market and have been too scared to try/buy them (I know, I know. After reading your post, I'll definitely try some this week. Thanks!

Liz said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, I love persimmons! I'm so jealous you have a "source." I love them raw but have used them in baked goods with great success too.

2.46% said... [Reply to comment]

I love fuyu persimmions. They are my favorite. You're so lucky to have a tree in your backyard! It really is feeling like fall....

Damaris said... [Reply to comment]

In Brazil we eat this all the time. We call them Kaki. I LOVE this fruit but never had a really juicy soft one here in the states

Linda said... [Reply to comment]

I LOVE persimmons, and can't get enough when they're in season (I've actually found the best quality and price at the Korean markets in k-town). I bet your home-dried persimmons are delicious...they look wonderful!

Mary, thanks for such an enjoyable post!!

susbro said... [Reply to comment]

I've never had a persimmon, but I love this post SO MUCH.

Y said... [Reply to comment]

Beautiful! I'm crazy for persimmons too, especially the fuyu ones. I like 'em crunchy :)

Kim said... [Reply to comment]

oh these are great! i love persimmons. :)

lyndsay said... [Reply to comment]

kawaii!! your persimmon "chips" are so cute. i love that you love persimmons... !

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

During my trip to Japan I tried them for the first time and loved them...both fresh and dried. While the one I bought in my hometown looked ripe, it did have a chalky taste. How can I tell when the fruit is ripe? Thanks for some guidance to buying and enjoying this amazing fruit.

Dani said... [Reply to comment]

mmm i love fuyu persimmons! I first had one in my physics class..every day the girl in front of me would eat this funny looking fruit that looked soft on the inside but sounded like an apple when she bit into it. One day, I FINALLY asked her what it was, and she told me it was a persimmon. and then (BEST PART!) she told me she had another one, and she would let me have it =)
Love at first bite.

Arya Stark said... [Reply to comment]

I've been looking into many different types of middle eastern food and Asian foods and these persimmon chips look wonderful!

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