What is a persimmon you may ask? Persimmon means “fruit of the gods” in Greek and comes into season in the fall. Persimmons have a sweet pumpkin-like flavor. The two most common persimmon varieties are Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyus can be eaten raw on the other hand Hachiyas are typically used in baking and other dishes.
Fuyu persimmons can be distinguished by their flat bottoms and short squat shape. Fuyus should be orange in color and are best eaten when barely soft. You can eat them like an apple though, so eating them slightly firm is ok also. Fuyu persimmons are one of the fruits that will ripen after being picked so buying them a little hard and leaving them on the kitchen counter to ripen is ok. Some people also roast Fuyus in the oven and they come out as a great warm snack. Fuyu persimmons are also used for decorating in the fall season and look great in those seasonal centerpieces.
We will start carrying Hachiya’s in our produce department next week. These Persimmons will pucker up your mouth like no other piece of fruit around if eaten when not extremely ripe and soft! Ripe Hachiyas are almost liquefied inside their skin. You can tell the difference between Hachiyas and Fuyus because Hachiyas are elongated and oval shaped instead of squat and round like Fuyus. Hachiyas will also ripen once picked, so you can leave them on the counter to ripen as well. Hachiyas are most commonly used in baking though they are usually pureed into a pulp and added to different types of baked goods. They add good moisture and a mild pumpkin-like flavor to cakes puddings and other delicious baked treats.
Whether Fuyus or Hachiyas, look for persimmons that are bright orange and plump, they should also feel heavy for their size. They should have a glossy finish to them and be free of bruises and cracks on the skin. Make sure to keep them at room temperature to ensure proper ripening, then when you’re ready for a healthy snack just rinse and peel them for the family to enjoy!