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What to do with a Persimmon…

October 27, 2009

Persimmons have come to the farmer’s market, much to the curiosity and bewilderment of many. Truthfully, I didn’t really know what to do with them either until I asked my mother-in-law. When in doubt, I ask Marsha.

There are two types of persimmons: Hachiya and Fuyu. Here is a little of the low-down…

Fuyu Persimmons are rounder and flat-bottomed. They are sweeter and keep their flavor while they are firm. The color indicates ripeness, so once a Fuyu reaches a shiny bright orange they are ready to eat. They should feel solid, like an apple. The easiest way to eat a Fuyu is to cut of the skin, which can be quite thick, and slice. Fuyus make for a nice addition to a salad with a little Goat cheese. They are also wonderful to eat plain with a little fresh lime juice.

Hachiya Persimmons have a pointed tip, similar to the shape of a Roma tomato. Hachiyas are too astringent to eat until they are soft and ripe. Their ripeness is indicated when the skin becomes almost translucent and they are a little squishy to the touch. Hachiyas are better for cooking, although their sweet pulp may sometimes become bitter. This can be neutralized with a little baking soda.

Persimmons make for wonderful preserves or jams. Here is another idea on what to do with a Persimmon, so now you can’t say you that you don’t know.

Glazed Persimmon Wedges
This recipe is a nice topping for pork or ham.

4-5 small Fuyu-type Persimmons (or 2-2 ½ larger Fuyus)
¼ cup butter
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ curry powder
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp raisins

Cut off the stem and peel the persimmon. Slice fruit into ½-inch wedges and discard any seeds.
Combine butter and spices in a pan and cook uncovered over medium heat until mixture foams. Stir in persimmons and lime juice. Heat until sizzling then reduce heat to low. Cook the fruit for about five minutes, turning occasionally until they are lightly glazed.

Serve warm with the raisins.

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