What else can you tell me about this fruit.
Some are astringent some are not. In stores, all non-astringent varieties tend to be called Fuyu and can be eaten firm. If you prefer them soft, leave them out a few days- I like them a bit crunchy but not hard.
The more orange, usually the more sugar and I’m surprised you didn’t describe the fruit as very sweet because I would expect the one in the photo to be just that. They are all sugar and texture, which is enough for me to love this fruit. The season for CA persimmons is short and will be about over in a month and a half. Later there will be some coming to the states from Israel.
Thanks Alan for the info. The fruit was definately not overly sweet. I don’t have a refractometer to test brix so can say for sure how it is. Overall it seemed quite mild to me. I bought 4 of them and left the other 3 on the counter to soften just a bit.
One other note, the skin was a little too tough to be enjoyable in my opinion. I ended up peeling mine.
The heard about some native American persimmon trees in my town and was advised to wait until after a hard frost and leaf off before attempting to eat them. I’ll try to take a drive there this week and score some of those for comparison.
Dave, I have a Japanese persimmon that hasn’t yet flowered, much less fruited. The last (and only) time I ate a persimmon was when I was a kid in elementary school. I’m sure it was a native persimmon that I picked that day. It was a highly memorable experience.
The fruit was soft and appealing. The first small mouthful of pulp had the same effect as sucking a spoonful of alum. I think I spent the rest of day suspecting that I’d poisoned myself, and wondering how severely. I also wondered how I’d explain it if I lived but the whole inside of my mouth shed like a shake skin. You couldn’t have forced me to have a second taste.
Whether or not they can really be as astringent before being fully ripe as my kid memories of the unexpected experience make them out to be, I don’t know. Someday my non-astringent Ichi will fruit, and I hope to enjoy the fruits. But I think I have to have a positive experience with a never astringent variety before I have the nerve to try the American version again. Kid memories, even if wild and inaccurate, can be powerful inhibitors.
Great story Muddy. That’s hilarious. I say I’ve never had a persimmon before but in all honesty I think I did try one once. It was almost 20 years ago. I had just started working my first “real job” and my boss and I was doing field work out in the country. We were waiting for the arrival of a client and my boss spotted a tree sitting in the middle of a farmers field. I had no interest in fruit trees back then and in fact I don’t even remembering him telling me what the fruit was called. What I remember is that the fruit was small, smaller than a golf ball, and it was early fall. The leaves still hadn’t turned colors yet. He told me to try one assuring me that they weren’t poisonous. I rememeber pulling one off the tree and biting into it. It was horrendous! I spit it out immediately and kept spitting for what seemed like 15 minutes. I didn’t have any water nearby and I would’ve killed for some. My boss set there laughing at my expense as I continued to whine and spit continuously to try to remove the taste from my mouth. I keep hearing them described as astringent and I guess that is what astringency tastes like. Can honestly say I’ve never tasted anything like that in my life. After reading a bit about the native persimmon it sounds like they need to almost look like jelly in order for them to be palatable.
Again, I’m not positive that is what I ate some 20 year ago but now that I know a little more about the fruit I believe that is what I ate that day.
Dave, as Alan said there are two types of Asian persimmons: astringent-until-fully-ripe and non-astringent (never astringent). The type you can eat “firm like an apple” is the type that will never be astringent no matter when you eat it.
The other type, the astringent-until-fully-ripe type, needs to be almost jelly-like before it’s ripe, although they can also be harvested while still astringent and processed in various ways to remove the astringency. This only works with Asian persimmons, not native persimmons. Dehydrating is one way to process astringent Asian persimmons to remove the astringency, and astringent persimmons make a truly outstanding dried fruit.
I, too, am surprised that you didn’t find the persimmon you tasted sweet. Non-astringent persimmons when still crunchy remind me of sugarcane: pure sweetness with nice crunchy flesh and not a whole lot more flavor-wise. I’ve had non-astringent persimmons that were tree ripened to about the firmness of a firm peach (so a little past crunchy) that I thought were much more desirable, but altogether I’ve tasted very few non-astringent Asian persimmons so far, so I can’t say much.
All native persimmons will be astringent until fully ripe, but their fully ripe texture will be different from Asian persimmons. Native persimmons ripen to soft flesh but not jelly-like. They’re typically about as soft as a very ripe banana (but with a different consistency): definitely solid but very squishable. Of course, native trees vary in fruit quality from tree to tree. Some fruits are bigger/smaller, seedier/less seedy, lose their astringency earlier or more fully, etc. There are native trees with fruit I don’t really care for, but I think the average native persimmon tree in my area tastes quite good. Waiting until after a hard frost is nonsense, but people (that don’t really eat persimmons) say that all the time. I would miss 99% of the best persimmons if I waited until after the first hard frost to harvest them. Some trees in some regions in some years may not ripen their fruit until a hard frost, but other trees will produce their best quality fruit a couple months before the first hard frost and their later fruit can be MORE astringent. The better rule for knowing when persimmons are ripe is to wait until they’re soft and falling off the tree. Because native persimmons get to be pretty tall trees, most people that enjoy persimmons pick them up off the ground. They’ll typically ripen and fall over a period of at least a month or two. Once the fruit is soft and falling of the tree it may still have some residual astringency, but it shouldn’t be extreme, so trying it won’t be anything like trying an unripe persimmon off the tree. The better trees will have fruit without any noticeable astringency at all at that point, although some trees, like I said, will produce their best quality fruit over just part of their season. You just have to find some good trees and get to know them, but I’d say the odds are in your favor for good taste (although traits like better pulp-to-seed ratios, prettier color, etc. will set the best trees apart from the average tree.)
I think native persimmons have more complex flavor than the kakis.
Thanks a ton Floyd. That’s a ton of good info on the native persimmon. I’ll take some pictures and let you know how the natives taste if I manage to get some.
This is my 1st year to have a crop from my Fuyu tree. The fruit I picked looked very similar to speedster’s picture and had very little sweetness to it. It had a hint of mellon flavor and was disappointingly bland. Sounds like they were picked too early, we have yet to have a freeze and the tree has yet to drop its leaves. Hopefully the next batch will be better.
This is my 2nd year on my Ichi. They were sweet enough, but after I put them in the dehydrator, they were like candy. I’ll try dipping them in chocolate this week. I think last year, I let them hang till December. They got very sweet, but also soft enough that the birds started attacking them.
I have grown them here in NY where they didn’t get all that sweet. I was talking about the CA grown ones available in stores. Any CA fuyus of a bright orange color I’ve ever eaten have been sugar sweet.
I finally got to try my first American persimmon just this past week, and they were really, really good, to the point where I was regretting planting more kakis than Ams. I had previously ranked Asian persimmons as my favorite fruit (it didn’t hurt that my first ones were freshly grown in the backyard, which unsurprisingly surpass what you can get in the store).
I also got to experience an unripe American, which I won’t quickly forget. But the ripe ones were incredible.
I ate my last 2 Fuyu Persimmons last night. They has softened slightly but still had a firm texture. They more moisture in them as well. They were definitely sweeter than those that I ate the first day. I can’t say that I’m blown away by this fruit. It tastes like a sweet chestnut to me. Not a very interesting flavor. Mostly just sweetness without much else going for it. I’m sure I’ll eat them again sometime but I’m not going to go out of my way to track them down. Before I tasted one I was throwing around the idea of planting one (although it likely would not thrive in my area). But at this point I think there are much more enjoyable fruits out there that I could use the space for. For comparison I much prefer the flavor of Paw Paw to that of Persimmon. The Paw Paw I ate had a very complex interesting flavor. This persimmon not so much. Now I’m looking forward to trying a ripe native persimmon. Sounds drastically different.
It’s all in the mouth of the beholder. Paw paws don’t thrill me- my attitude about them about duplicates yours about persimmons. I look forward to persimmon season every year and prefer Fuyus.
Paw paws to me are like a slightly mushy, slightly bitter Mango. I love mangoes but paw paws are something I will eat a couple of a year.
I think both of these varieties of fruit create a cleanly divided reaction. One camp is full fandom the other relative indifference with few in between.
They are, and I think the astringent-until-ripe Asian type is very different, too, and so is the Rosseyanka hybrid. I falsely assumed at first that having tried one type I more or less knew what the others would be like, but they’re all very different, and I think they all fill very different niches. I’ve had non-astringent Asian persimmons (fuyu type) that I judged the same as you, mostly just sweetness without much else going for it, but I’ve also tasted a couple non-astringent persimmons ripened to slightly soft on the tree that I thought were great. My impressions of the other three types have all been very positive (except for just some inferior native wild trees, but even the average wild persimmon I think yields very tasty fruit.)
I think a lot of the enthusiasm for pawpaws and the different types and species of persimmons has a lot to do with how much easier they can be to grow and their no-spray potential. That’s the case with me, anyway. It’s not that I think pawpaws and persimmons taste better than mangoes; my excitement in pawpaws and persimmons comes from being able to grow them myself, without sprays, without a greenhouse, without moving to Mexico… I enjoy all sorts of fruit, and the difference in enjoyment between a pawpaw and mango isn’t so significant, so my interest and excitement gravitates to the things that I can grow without using inputs that detract from that enjoyment (cost, organic concerns, etc.) I suspect a lot of the interest in pawpaws and persimmons follows a similar path as with me.
Very true Alan. Different strokes for different folks. Don’t get me wrong on the paw paw though. I thoroughly enjoyed their flavor but I’m not a fan of their texture. I prefer my first to have a firmer texture. I do not care for bananas largely due to their texture. I’ll take a crisp juicy peach, apple, or plum any day.
I make sure to buy persimmons every time I see them in the store, because that way my decision to buy the trees will be a money saver once they fruit.
My local Vietnamese store carries many kinds of tropical and sub tropical fruit.
This box of fuyu persimmoms costs $13 per 20 fruit. I like non-astringent persimmons. I enjoys eating them both hard and soft.
My wife liked to eat the N/A Kaki hard and crunchy but me and the children liked them a little soft because they developed a higher sugar level and a little jucier.