How to Eat a Persimmon

November 27, 2010 · 2 comments

Persimmons

A few weeks ago I bought a persimmon at the grocery store. I didn’t know anything about persimmons but they were in the exotic fruit section of the produce area and I like to try new things so I bought one. The persimmon I bought felt ripe to me (it had a nice slight give to the flesh), so when I got home I put away the groceries and pulled out the persimmon. It was fairly soft so I decided I would segment it like an orange and suck the “meat” off of the skin. Seemed like a reasonable way to eat it. Unfortunately what I didn’t know was that this was a Hachiya persimmon, and it was not yet fully ripe. Trust me when I tell you that you do not want to eat a Hachiya persimmon before it is fully ripened.

There are two kinds of persimmons you will most likely find in America (you may find one or two more exotic varieties if you buy persimmons online) but I am focusing here on what you can get in the store.

Hachiya Persimmon

Hachiya Persimmon

The Hachiya persimmon will look a bit like an acorn in shape and you want to buy these when they are soft. In fact, even when you buy them ripe as I did, you will want to make sure they are fully ripe before you try to eat one. This is because this variety of persimmon is an astringent persimmon, meaning on a technical level they contain very high levels of soluble tannins and in non-technical terms they taste really, really bad if you eat them too early. The taste is hard to describe, but it is something like bitter chalk.

When your Hachiya persimmon is fully ripened and very, very soft, it is ready to eat. There are a couple of different ways to eat this variety of persimmon. The first is to simply chop of the top and eat it with a spoon like a pudding. The second is to cut it in half, slice out the core, and then either eat with a spoon or just suck it from the skin. I chose to do the latter tonight, next time I will give the pudding method a try.

Fuyu Persimmon

Fuyu Persimmon

The Fuyu persimmon is flatter than the Hachiya and looks a bit like a pumpkin. This persimmon you actually want firm and you simply eat it like an apple. Some people like to peel a Fuyu persimmon before eating but it isn’t neccessary – the skin is edible. Just make sure to wash the fruit well before eating it. In this case a cut the persimmon into 8ths and sliced out the core.

Since the Hachiya persimmon is absolutely terrible when eaten firm you can see that it is important not to mix the two varieties up and eat them at the wrong time.

So how does a persimmon taste when eaten properly? Can’t say I’m a huge fan. I’ll take a mango over a persimmon any day. But still, if you want to give a persimmon a try you can follow this little guide to get the best experience.

Do you like persimmons?

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{ 2 comments }

Emma November 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Hey John, cool to see people trying new things.

Actually, that Fuyu Persimmon is just like the Hachiya Persimmon in that you want to wait until the inside has turned to pudding to eat it. Or at least, that’s how I learned to eat them in China and they’re native to China. They probably taste good both ways, but I love eating them as sweet “pudding” -ish slime 🙂

John's Weight Loss Blog November 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Thanks for the heads-up Emma – I’ll try one that way the next time I see one!

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