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Persimmon

It seems apples and pears receive most of the limelight during harvest season while persimmons get left in their tiny, little shadows. I find this rather unfortunate. Persimmons are a delicious treat that I think we should all start enjoying. So, I say it’s about time we give these beauties a well-deserved shoutout.

  • Persimmons are packed with soluble fibre.
  • They are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C.
  • If you’re up for eating the skins, you’ll get a dose of lutein which has been shown supportive in preventing eye disease.
  • To receive the most of their nutrition, it is best to eat them raw. But please don’t let that stop you from enjoying a cooked persimmon, your body will thank you.

About Persimmons

Native to East Asia, persimmons are a type of fruit (technically a berry) that have a luscious, honey-like flavour when ripe. While they come in many varieties, the two most common include the Fuyu and Hachiya species, both of which are now grown in North America, too. Fuyu persimmons are short and round, looking quite like an orange tomato. They are sweet in flavour and bake well in desserts. Hachiyas are taller, taking on an acorn shape and darker color. They are much more astringent and best consumed when completely ripe (even a tad mushy!) otherwise, pucker up – you’ll be in for a tart surprise!

Ways to Enjoy

A popular way to eat a persimmon is to slice it in half and scoop out the flesh for a flavourful treat! But, the skins are totally edible. Whether you scoop, or slice and dice it, persimmons make for a delicious salad topping, baked into desserts, caramelized and placed over pancakes / waffles, pureed into a jam, or simply enjoyed as a snack. The ideas are limitless!

Try the Seriously Super Cereal topped with persimmon!
Enjoy the Golden Milk Bircher with Persimmon Ginger Compote!

Buying

Persimmons come into season starting late fall. You may see them popping up in grocery stores or your local market late September throughout January. For a good selection, I recommend looking at your nearby world-cuisine markets as not all stores carry these fruits. When shopping, look for fruits that are free of squishy spots and instead, feel firm and heavy. You may notice small, black dots but not to fear, these won’t affect their taste and are simply a result of sun exposure. 

Storing

This depends on the variety you buy. Hachiyas are commonly sold unripe and should rest at room temperature for a few days before they’re sweet enough to enjoy. Fuyus on the other hand can often be consumed upon purchasing as they’re typically sweeter, even if not completely ripe. However, if it feels a bit too firm for your liking, let it sit on the counter for a few days to ripen. Once persimmons are soft enough, go ahead and dive in! Alternatively, place them into the fridge for up to one week or freeze them for future use – like in a smoothie 😉