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Best way to enjoy Persimmons...

g
gutreactions Oct 11, 2008 11:17 AM

Just got a gift of lovely home grown persimmons and was wondering whether Chowhounds had suggestions as to how to enjoy them...Thanks!

  1. r
    racheld Oct 18, 2008 07:11 AM

    Persimmons are one of the most beautiful creations ever to hang on a tree. The smooth heavy golden globes catch the light on their skins like no other fruit, and the gentle haze of the velvet only enhances the shine. We had one tree just out from the house, and before the leaves fell, the fruit winked through the green like so many tangerine lanterns; after leaf-fall the hanging fruit was a sharp contrast to the dark, gnarled limbs, like an immense twisted bonsai clustered with jewels. I saw this tree in my twenties, and it was exactly what my childhood imagination had conjured up when Aladdin walked into that cave of treasures.

    I used to stand out looking at it as the sun set, my twin trails of breath wisping out into the first-frost-coming air, and that stark tree against the rose and gold of the deepening twilight is seared into my memory as one of my most valued picture-memories. And I sometimes imagined that the translucent golden fruit had a glow of its own, shining there on that black outline of a tree. I'd gaze at it til the light faded and the color paled and darkened with the coming of night.

    In Autumn, there was always a bowl of the beautiful bounty on our dining-room table, a still-life in shades of orange, deepest yellows and the most indescribable peachy gold. Breathtakingly beautiful for the few days of their prime, voluptuously resting, growing weary and slack with the sag of time.

    I’d love to see again the persimmon tree in my yard down South---widespread and imposing, with gnarled, dark limbs like a steroid-pumped bonsai. The leaves would fall during the first cold days, leaving the ripening fruit. The persimmons resemble big green tomatoes hanging amongst the foliage; then as the tree gets barer and barer, the green shades into gold, then peachy hues, with the fruit getting softer and softer.

    Finally, the heavy globes turn an indescribable peachy-goldy-pumpkin shade, shining and smooth, almost translucent in the sun. A leaf-bare persimmon tree at sunset has a glory not given to many flowers. The stark outline of the craggy branches dangling little golden lanterns is a memorable sight, and a bowlful of the fruit brings the sun onto the table, a still-life in shades of orange and deepest yellows and the most indescribable creamy golden orange.

    The fruit is not very flavorful, like a mouthful of very sweet, unflavored Jello, but one spoonful of that quivery gold against the light outshines all the jewels in Aladdin’s cave.

    Sometimes just Pretty IS enough.

    1 Reply
    1. re: racheld
      g
      gutreactions Oct 18, 2008 07:19 AM

      racheld, thanks for placing one of your first posts with this thread...lovely!
      I must admit, I am new to persimmons and I am smitten...

    2. a
      adamshoe Oct 17, 2008 03:21 PM

      My favorite way to enjoy them....Peel, cut in small dice, sprinkle with sugar and a little lemon, promptly toss all ingredients into Dispos-All, turn dispos-all on for three 5-second pulses. Et Voila!!! Sorry, I loathe the things, regardless of Fuyu, Hachiya, or Wuthavya....Adam

      1. t
        tdl1501 Oct 17, 2008 02:27 PM

        Years ago a neighbor had tons of hachiya persimmons. She gave me a bunch and I made a coulis with peeled persimmons and sugar syrup and served it with vanilla ice cream. It was nice and tart and a beautiful color. Raspberries on top made the dish.

        1. v
          vtnewbie Oct 17, 2008 05:53 AM

          If you're talking about the native American wild persimmon (Virginia persimmon), there is no higher purpose for this fruit than persimmon pudding (a la Uptown Cafe in Bloomington, Indiana).

          Turns an ugly gray in cooking , but my oh my, delicious. Cooking destroys any lingering astringency.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vtnewbie
            amyzan Oct 17, 2008 06:07 PM

            I've always been told to mix the native persimmon pulp with baking soda to prevent browning. Our persimmon trees died, so I haven't done this in a few years, but as I remember, it always worked when I was going to use the pulp in persimmon pudding. My recipe uses buttermilk, whick took advantage of the soda for extra leavening. Getting the pulp from all those little native persimmons with their plentiful and tenacious seeds was a chore, but the flavor was so worth the effort.

          2. f
            fuuchan Oct 16, 2008 09:15 PM

            I don't like the Hachiya (the soft kind) at all. I try and try again, but even at their ripest, I never enjoyed their slimeyness or that mouth-drying hint of astringency still left.

            Fuyus, peeled and halved room temp or lightly chilled are the best!

            3 Replies
            1. re: fuuchan
              Cheese Boy Oct 16, 2008 09:53 PM

              'Fuyus, peeled and halved room temp or lightly chilled are the best!'.

              Definitely agree. I am enjoying fuyus so much more since I discovered that peeling them makes them taste so much better! I find that the peeled fuyus have less crunch and less astringency. If you like pretty food, halve a fuyu through its diameter and note the perfect stellar design.

              1. re: Cheese Boy
                f
                fuuchan Oct 17, 2008 12:34 AM

                I've always eaten persimmons peeled, ever since I was a kid. I wouldn't have ever thought of eating the peel, just like you're not supposed to eat the rind of an orange! It's just not something you eat!

                1. re: fuuchan
                  Cheese Boy Oct 17, 2008 10:18 PM

                  Guess what? I thought the same about kiwis.
                  People eat kiwis with the skin on !! I tried this recently and it's just NOT for me. I will continue to peel my kiwis and forego the nutrients in the skin. Now kumquats have all their flavor in the skin. I peel my oranges though *always* -- matter of fact, I go a step further and supreme them.

            2. g
              gutreactions Oct 16, 2008 08:36 AM

              Just had my indulgence for the day...scooped out the lovely orange meat of a ripe persimmon, added it to a cocktail glass of plain whole yogurt, some chopped walnuts and just a touch of honey...Wow!

              1 Reply
              1. re: gutreactions
                scubadoo97 Oct 16, 2008 09:58 AM

                Wow indeed. Sounds great

                I had my first Fuyu last year and became very fond of this crunchy sweet variety. Previously I have only had the one that needs to be very soft but boy are they good.

              2. l
                Louise Oct 11, 2008 02:23 PM

                If it's flat and shaped sort of like a tomato, that's the fuyu variety. I don't like the skin, but they are good just peeled and sliced, or on a salad. They are sweet and have a slight almond flavor.

                If it's more like an acorn with a pointed bottom, that's hachiya. Store them flat on the stem end, pointy part up and wait til they're really soft. You can scoop them out, or there are recipes for baked persimmon pudding. Though I've never made it, the recipes look like a firmer version of pumpkin pie, with no crust.

                There's a third variety of persimmons which are native to to the Americas (the other two are old world varieties) which I don't know about so can't advise.

                1. bitsubeats Oct 11, 2008 11:20 AM

                  if they are the ones that are shaped kinda like a heart and taper at the bottom, then let them sit out for a long time on the counter until they get super ripe. I love to hold them in my hand and scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon. Don't know about the other persimmons...I just eat those as is, but I prefer the other ones

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bitsubeats
                    f
                    flowergarden129 Oct 11, 2008 02:11 PM

                    The other kind can be eaten out of hand, at any degree of ripeness, even crunchy if that's what you like. They're not astringent like the kind referenced above. They are one of my favorite fruits.

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