Prok Persimmon-Great or Tasteless?

Considering a second Prok, but the one I have has not fruited yet and have not tasted one. Problem is everyone seems to describe it different. Some claim it as the best while others say the flavor is weak and bland. So what is the truth. Is it just a big weak tasting persimmon or is it the best tasting? I personally like the strong wild taste.

FYI: Prok is the only thing available anywhere at the moment or would buy something different.

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I don’t have an answer for you, but I have spent a lot of time thinking about this same issue. Based on the varied reports, I strongly suspect there’s more than one strain of Prok circulating, perhaps a mislabel or a sport. My next best guess is that it could be tied to max summer temps, as I’ve seen more reports of bland fruits near the coast or in otherwise cool summer regions.

That being said, I think if you already have Prok, you may as well get a different variety for variety’s sake.

Totally agree, but I only buy potted persimmons which makes selection really limited. Bare root persimmons are a really bad idea. I’m batting 0 for 3. Everywhere is sold out saying they do not know when they will have more.

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I had no issue with the 25 bare root rootstocks I planted, but if you’re intent on containers, it looks like Cliff England still has some containerized trees of certain varieties in stock. They’re a bit pricey, especially if only ordering one tree (he has a flat handling fee), but I’ve heard nothing but good things about Cliff and his trees.

http://nuttrees.net/

Back on the initial topic of taste, the other thing I have wondered is if it just comes down to subjectivity. For example, it may just be really mild compared to an average wild persimmon, but still have a richer taste than a kaki. Whether that makes a good persimmon or a bland one may be in the eye of the beholder. It does seem that most of the people that have tasted a wide array of persimmons seem to like it, but there are some notable exceptions.

You may be right. Even with the wilds if you eat them fresh ripe have one taste, but if you let them get real wrinkly they get a caramel type flavor. Maybe the proks just need more counter time to develop a deeper flavor.

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My Kassandra came from England – ordered in late autumn and delivered in early spring – and it was a good tree. But I gave up ordering other trees for spring delivery after: (1) One year they lost / denied having received my order, despite having cashed my check. To get a refund, I had to send them a copy of their own confirmation e-mail and a copy of the cashed check. (2) The next year they sold my tree to a drive-in customer, without remorse, despite having confirmed my order and cashed my check months before. They told me unapologetically that drive-in customers get preference, so reneging on confirmed mail-in orders in order to sell trees to drive-in customers was SOP. Also, both times they failed to tell me that they were pocketing the cash without delivering the tree. I had to contact them in April to discover that my order was not going to be fulfilled and to get a refund.

You might have better luck either (1) buying in person, or (2) buying for immediate delivery.

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I’m said this elsewhere but I’ll repeat here – I’m in the “bland” camp. I also fit into the “near the coast / cool summer regions” category. The tree bears a lot of fruit, so I wonder if thinning might help. I haven’t bothered yet.

I had good success grafting JT-02 onto Prok, so if I stay frustrated then I may top-work the tree.

FWIW, the IKKJ fruits are delicious after a week ripening indoors.

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Oof. I know no one’s perfect, but that’s pretty bad.

My two additional cents, based on this season’s results: I planted my Prok tree in 2015. It has borne heavy crops for the past three years (2019-21). In the past, I have been disappointed by residual astringency and/or mediocre flavor in the apparently ripe fruit but I hadn’t crystallized and conclusions. This year I paid closer attention to these issues.

As documented elsewhere, the earliest wave of ripe fruit (harvested last week of Sept / 1st week of Oct) frustrated me. I found that a large proportion of the fruits retained some significant residual astringency even when apparently ripe. Roughly 80% of the ripe fruit harvested (easily, with a gentle tug) from the tree were astringent; roughly 40-60% of the ripe fruit harvested from the ground were astringent. Flavor ranged from bland too quite good, but maybe inly 10-15% achieved a good flavor.

More recently (2nd-3rd week of October), the fruit has improved. Astringency is gone from pretty much all of the fruit that are harvested from the ground. It’s also gone (or mostly gone) from fully ripe fruit harvested from the tree. Moreover, flavor has improved. It is no longer merely bland but instead ranges from mild / pretty good to very good – but not really excellent. So far it’s C+ to A- with the mode around B to B+.

Also, my various experiments with alcohol, ethylene, and time seems to show that any almost ripe Prok persimmon will fully ripen after sitting in a warm place for 1-2 days. In the end, fruit flies become a bigger issue than astringency.

Thus far, roughly 2/3 of the crop has ripened. I’ll keep tracking so long as there are fruit. Next year I think I’ll try thinning to improve flavor.

I’m not so certain that any variety will taste consistently from one region of growth to another. So much depends on how many solar hours the tree and fruit can absorb. For example, I have read many reports about Saijo and how sweet it is, my neighbor has one that is in full sun all day, but it still is not sweet, but gets pretty mushy once astringency goes away. I am hoping that Prok and some other named natives will do better since they tend to ripen earlier. I think unless you have someone local who will let you sample, it’s very difficult to rely on taste. The farmers market I have locally always has Giant Fuyu and Hachiya, so someday soon I hope to be able to compare local grown to what is grown in Eastern Wa. My hunch is that the ones grown in Eastern parts of the state will be much sweeter.

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