Persimmons are in season in the fall and winter
The two main varieties are the hachiya, best
consumed when soft and tender, and the fuyu, which can
be eaten at any stage of ripeness.
Hachiyas are best for smoothies and quick breads, but are also
delicious raw; when fully ripened, they basically slip out of their
skin in a goopy orange heap as sweet as nectar.
Hachiyas are an astringent persimmon. They are
longer and more tapered than other persimmons. Astringent varieties are
mouth-puckering to the point of inedibility if
they aren't completely ripe. The phenolic compounds in the fruit, like
those in wine, are enjoyable in small amounts but offensive in
Once ripened to the point of extreme softness, almost mushiness,
astringents are incredibly sweet and jammy in the center.
American persimmons are of the astringent variety. They are harvested
late in the growing season after a few ghard frosts have "bletted" the
fruit, rendering it soft and sweet.
American persimmons are rarely found in markets, largely because they
are unpleasant looking when completely ripe. If you want some, you
usually have to grow your own.
Fuyus are a non-astringent variety. They are smaller and
can be eaten like apples fresh from the shelf. They are also excellent
in prepared desserts.
Try freezing the whole fruit and serving it like a sorbet.
Persimmon can be used for garnishes or toppings when pureéd
into a foam that will last for hours..