Persimmons in Armenia

This is an older video of fruit explorer Joe Simcox and his brother looking at persimmons grown in Armenia. I have always loved this video, in part because when I first saw it I had no idea persimmons were even grown in Armenia.

I was in Armenia in Nov 2016, and have only seen two varieties. One is Fuyu-type, called locally khurma, or хурма in Russian (this word is loaned from Turkish and originally from Persian where it means “date”). It’s pretty rare and more expensive so I think it might be mostly imported from Central Asia with perhaps some insignificant local production. The other one is Hyakume, called locally korolyok, or королёк in Russian (which means “little king”; the same word is used in Russian for the Kinglet bird). It’s very common and is grown widely throughout the area (in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan). The name korolyok (королёк) is used for Hyakume throughout the former Soviet Union, and this is probably the most common type of persimmon sold in markets there (brought mostly from Caucasus and Central Asia). Hyakume is a PVNA type persimmon, the more seeds the better the flavor.

So, really I was not that impressed with Armenian persimmons, they are widely available when in season, but mostly just one variety. You can find so much more varieties in the US. They do have a very nice selection of apricots though. Only Shalah (a.k.a. Yerevani) is known here (and is quite rare), but it’s just one of many great apricot varieties grown in Armenia.