My Kassandra tree is loaded with bright orange fruit, still hard. A few have fully ripened but not many. I assume that I can pick now, refrigerate, then ripen at my leisure. Or I can ripen them on the tree.
The advantage of picking them now is that I’ll have a couple hundred fruits to spread over many weeks. The advantage of letting them ripen on the tree may be higher quality ripe fruit (I don’t know).
Why not do both?
If they will completely tree ripen without a freeze, leave 1/3 - 1/2 on the tree and harvest the rest when they are as close to ripe as possible but still firm. Pick the remainder just after leaf fall/color change.
It may not matter all that much but I think it is best to leave the persimmon on the tree as long as the leaves are still green. My reasoning is that leaves are still producing sugars and it is best to let that process continue as long as possible. In my heat/light deprived location, I think every little bit of time helps. YMMV
Once leaves are not green any more, I think it is safe to take all the fruit down at once and keep them in a cold/not freezing location. You can take them out in small batches and put them out on the counter or with an apple/banana to ripen.
Thanks. Those are helpful suggestions. I think I’ll implement a version… I’ve got to address two issues. Understand that I’m thinking out loud here . . . .
How many fruits can I allow to ripen on the tree, understanding that once they are ripe someone will have to use (e.g., eat) them? Between me, my family and my friends over 2 weeks, maybe we could use 50? It depends hoe they taste. Let’s assume that there are 200 fruits on the tree, though this may be low. That implies that I should leave only ~1/4 on the tree. Of course that means we’d have to use the other ~150 after those 2 weeks, If 25 per week is reasonable, I’d have to store them for 5-6 weeks.
Leaving 1/4 on the tree would give me a chance to compare taste at various degrees of ripeness, including the impact of a November freeze.
How much can I allow the fruits to ripen and then still store them for >2 weeks in a fridge? I’m imagining that I can’t store fruits that have already become red and soft, at least not for long. I can’t tell now when my fruits will reach that stage (the fruits that I leave on the tree will teach me), they all look bright orange now, and a small few damaged fruits have already ripened, so I’m inclined to think that they are close to ripening on the tree. That means that I should pick them now.
@TNHunter – Almost everything I’ve seen uses Asian persimmons, often non-astringent. Others have noted that heating can reverse the process of de-astringency, so I could actually make tasty fruits inedible.
To be safe, I think I have to limit myself to recipes that work on American persimmons. Of course, I can experiment with small batches.
I picked a lot that were not quite ripe and let them ripen on the counter. They are still very sweet. I had more than I could use and shared with coworkers. I also peeled (or just squeezed out of the skin) and froze the pulp. It’s very good for cooking after being frozen.
I suggest to try removing the astringency with alcohol or carbon dioxide to see if you can eat some firm fruit or not. I remember all your failures with Prok last year, but I hope that some hybrids are easier to treat than Americans.
Well, I picked 400 fruits today – and it was clearly less than half!!! Above I guessed 200 total but it may be closer to 1000. The lesson: Don’t rely on me for numerical estimates! Most of those 400 that I picked are now in a fridge.
Roughly 40 are now subjects in an experiment. 20 are in a closed plastic tray with a small cup of a ethanol / water solution (i.e., vodka). Another 20 are in an identical closed plastic tray with a small cup of water.
The question is whether the hybrid Kassandra persimmons with the ethanol will become non-astringent any quicker.
p.s. Edit 10/30 – I picked another 400 today, so 800 total. There’s at least 200 still on the tree.
p.p.s. Edit 11/05 – I picked another 200 today, so 1000 total. There’s more on the tree.
Twig girdlers cut a limb bearing 20 or so fruits out of my Rosseyanka a couple of weeks back… fruits were firm, and not quite to the orange state yet; yellow, but not orange.
I snipped them off, and left them on the front steps in a cardboard box for the next two nights when temps dropped below 32F, then sliced them and ran them through the dehydrator. Minimal to no detectable astringency in the slices, though I’d bet that if I had just tried to eat one fresh off the branch, it would have been astringent.
FWIW, this fruit was picked a week ago, then ripened in a bag with an apple. I ate it today. I think it could have used one more day – it was still a little hard. But it was not at all astringent. I’ll reserve comment on taste until I’ve tasted a bunch more.
My preliminary take-away is that a fully orange but unripe Kassandra will ripen in about a week if stored at room temperature with a source of a little ethylene.
Note that over 3 years of fruiting, my American variety Prok never really lost astringency. The reason was unclear. Possibly the variety was mislabeled. There was speculation that RI weather or soil conditions were responsible. As more Kassandra fruits ripen with low/no astringency, local conditions seem a less plausible explanation.