What Is a Persimmon?

It's a honey of a fruit.

Persimmons are tree fruits native to Asia that also thrive in California and the southern United States. There are many varieties, but the two types you're most likely to see at the supermarket, typically in the fall, are Hachiya and Fuyu. Hachiyas are acorn-shaped, while Fuyus are tomato-shaped.

Both have red-orange skin, though Hachiyas tend to be redder and Fuyus are often a brighter orange. Ripe persimmons have a soft, custardy texture. Both varieties have similar sweet, “honey-like” flavors that one taster described as a cross between “a pumpkin and a plum.” Hachiyas are astringent, so they must fully ripen—they should be soft and squishy—before they can be eaten or they will dry out your mouth and leave a harsh, bitter taste. Fuyus are nonastringent, so they can be eaten while still firm, though we prefer them a little softer. Both varieties should be ripened at room temperature, and they can be cooked into jams, quick breads, cakes, or persimmon pudding.

The bottom line: Persimmons are sweet fruits with lusciously creamy textures when ripe. They are available in the fall months.

Fuyu persimmons are soft and sweet.

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