Monday, December 15, 2014

Persimmons - Eating in Season

This weekend while out shopping and picking up groceries, I was browsing the produce section looking for something Extra Delicious and I found these Persimmons. The first time that I have ever had a persimmon was on a fruit tray that my sister in law brought over for Thanksgiving dinner. Isn't it strange to think that I am 38 years old and there are foods out there that I haven't gotten around to trying yet. I am sure in the whole - wide - world there are Lots and Lots of foods that I haven't tried, but here at my grocery store, there was this crazy fruit that I hadn't ever had. I absolutely had to get some. We were all going to try them. 

What do you need to know if you are going to eat a persimmon - 

  • Select a ripe persimmon. This is the only time the persimmon should be eaten; before this stage, the fruit will be very bitter.
  • The skin will appear transparent and should be smooth.
  • Look for a good overall orange coloring. If not, let it ripen on the counter until it reaches a bright coloring overall.

Fuyu Persimmons (or Jiro or sharon fruit) are short and firm. They're crisp and sweet and the skin can be eaten or peeled. They are great in fruit salads or baked in coffee cake. These tomato-like ones are the better variety for eating fresh.

Hachiya Persimmons are longer and more "peach-shaped." They need to be eaten when very soft. Best eaten chilled, or scooped out with a spoon, these are best for cooking.

Wash the persimmon. Do this very gently, using a basic vegetable washing liquid you usually use to clean veggies. You might like to rest it in a colander and let a gentle flow of water flow over it.

Cut off the leaves. Using a sharp knife cut off the top (leaves). Then, you can simply slice the persimmon in the same manner that you would prepare a tomato.
You can peel if wished but the skin is edible. Peeling is usually used for cooking – peel by immersing in hot water briefly as with a tomato or peach, and then removing and peeling.
Cut the persimmon into any shape you desire for serving.

The persimmon can be consumed fresh or it can be cooked. Persimmons can be cooked as a jam, marmalade, compote, or also be used in salads. It makes a delicious sorbet.

They are delicious on salads and sandwiches (like you would use a sliced apple or a pear). They are great with a little bit of salted meat (like prosciutto and melon) and they are so so yummy with just bread and cheese - This is MY most favorite way.