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Jim on Know your persimmons :
I have never tried sweet persimmon. The original is wha... »

Know your persimmons

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

My first experience of a persimmon was biting into an unripe fruit and feeling like all the moisture had been sucked out of my tongue. It was like drinking a mug of tea made from 100 tea bags - super astringent and completely inedible. What I didn't know at the time was the difference between sweet persimmons (sometimes known Fuji fruit) and original persimmons. A sweet persimmon can be eaten when it's crunchy or soft while an original persimmon must be eaten when it almost seems too soft.

It's an easy mistake to make when you're unfamiliar with these two delicious fruits and it's a mistake you're unlikely to make twice! What I hope however is that you haven't made the mistake once and written the fruit off completely.

The original persimmon is totally delicious when you wait until its squidgy-soft - almost jelly-like which does take getting used to as most fruits are thrown out when they get that soft. The fruit is larger than the sweet persimmon, slightly heart-shaped and it ranges in colour from pale to deep red-orange.

The sweet persimmon is sometimes referred to as Fuji fruit and it's the fruit you are most likely to encounter as it accounts for nearly 95% of the production in Australia. It's round in shape with a slightly flattened top which holds a green stem, otherwise called a calyx. This sweet persimmon is best eaten crunchy like an apple. Its colour, like the original persimmon, can range from pale orange to a deep red-orange so you can see how easy it is to confuse the two. Now you are warned!

Personally I prefer the sweet persimmon; it has a refreshing sweet and mild flavour and a texture that is a little easier to handle than its mooshy sister fruit. Both are extremely good for you however providing vitamin C, beta carotene, fibre and numerous minerals and antioxidants.

OK - now you know which to buy you may also be wondering what to do with them and how to store them.

Like all fruit persimmons are great tasting just as they are, but they're also delicious with cheese, sliced into a salad, or chopped up at breakfast and served with muesli and yoghurt. You can cut them into segments as you might an apple - or cut across the fruit to reveal a star on the inside. That way they look particularly exotic especially on a cheeseboard.

When you are selecting sweet persimmons check that the calx (the stem) is still green and pliable. Brown and brittle and the fruit's been off the tree for too long.

To speed up the ripening process - and this is particularly important with the original persimmon - (remember it needs to be soft and mooshy), place the fruit in a paper bag with a couple of bananas.

The fruit will keep out of the fridge for up to five days

For more info on persimmons watch our More Articles>>


Mar 23 2018 1:43PM
I have never tried sweet persimmon. The original is what I love with its mushy glassy see through taste. I can't remember my first taste but it must be over 60 odd years. I have gone in too early on the odd occasion and ended up with the powdery dry mouth feeling. I have had my own tree for 40 years but the current one, a dia dia muru, only fruits every second year and on my less than favourable soil it does struggle. I did add a new tree 3 years ago and it has failed at the graft so hope to get the rootstock to go now. Last year I was given fruit from a 50 year old tree and we dried it in a dehydrator. It is beautifully flavoured and sweet.
My wife cooked a persimmon pie a few years ago and it was beautiful too. I just like fresh or dried.
Comment by: Jim

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