Persimmons are the bright orange fall and winter fruits that are often mistaken for unripe tomatoes and even more frequently passed by in the market because, well, what are you going to do with them?
Let’s start off with the basics. There is a variety of persimmon indigenous to the southern United States, but the two most common are Asian varieties — Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyu are sweet, squat and yellow-orange, and ready to eat when still slightly firm. Hachiya, which are larger than the Fuyu and have a tip at the bottom, need to be super ripe and almost too squishy to pick up before you attempt to eat them. Try an unripe Hachiya and you’ll be in for an unpleasant, bitter surprise due to their tannic (like red wine) nature. Persimmons are sweet and sour, and their texture is slightly reminiscent of apricots or peaches, so they’re often pureed or baked into goods, but they’re also delicious raw. Pick some this fall and you’ll fall in love with persimmons, 25 different ways.
- When in doubt, throw any new/questionable/scary fruit into a muffin: Persimmon Muffins.
- Persimmons with Minted Brown Sugar (pictured above) are a perfect option for slightly underripe Fuyus — the brown sugar will sweeten them up enough to make a healthy dessert or a topper for tart Greek yogurt in the morning.
- Switch up your go-to potluck dish with Persimmon Pudding with Hard Sauce. Serve the pudding warm to melt the hard sauce on top.
- Emeril’s Persimmon and Cinnamon Crumb Cake calls for quite a few ingredients. Take a look in your cupboard and you’ll be surprised to find that you probably have almost everything you need.
- This Salad of Frisee, Radicchio, Pears, Pomegranate and Persimmons will be a hit on your Thanksgiving table (and throughout the rest of the winter season). The sweet fruit offsets bitter greens in a mouth-happy medley.