I have never had a persimmon! Each week I get an organic fruit and vegetable box and for 2 weeks now there have been persimmons in my box, the Hachiya and the Fuyu persimmon.
Hachiya persimmons are available in the winter and they are rounded, slightly elongated and acorn-shaped, coming to a blunted point at their non-stem end. When fully ripe the fruits are a beautiful deep orange. Another indicator of ripeness is that the fruit should feel like a water balloon when resting in your hand. The skins are thin, similar to a tomato. The flesh is even deeper orange in color and more striking then the skin. It is jellied in texture, yet in a refined way.
Warning: DO NOT EAT THEM HARD!!!!
Hachiya when they are still hard are very tart and if you do you will be puckering up for a week. Please let them set out on the counter for several weeks until they are ripe. Or you can freeze then and when they thaw they will be fine to eat.
If you can’t wait 2 weeks for your persimmons to ripen try washing them and place them in a paper bag with an apple or banana to ripen.
When your persimmons are ripe, cut your persimmons in half and use a spoon to scoop out the translucent flesh as a snack, spread pulp over waffles or French toast, add to your fruit smoothies or you can use in your baking for the holidays.
Fuyu persimmons are distinguished by their "flat" bottoms and squat shape. Fuyus should be more orange then yellow and are at their best when just barely a teensy bit soft. They will ripen after being picked, so buying rock-hard fuyus and allowing them to ripen at home can be a good strategy. They are meant to be eaten while still hard and crisp and they have a sweet flavor that seems to be kissed with a natural dose of fall spice straight from the tree.
Eat them out of hand skin and all or add them to your favorite salsas, salads or desserts. A few complementary flavors include pomegranate, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, maple, arugula, mint, citrus, and balsamic vinegar.
Fuyu will stay good on your counter top at room temperature for several weeks. Look for bright orange color and just a little bit of give to know when they will be at their best. If popped in the fridge for a longer term storage. Fuyus will continue to soften slowly as time passes and will eventually turn jelly soft like the Hachiya variety and you can then use them for baking or eat them with a spoon.
I am looking forward to my adventure with persimmons, I hope you are too!