Once you know what to look for, it’s fairly easy to tell fuyus and hachiyas apart. Although both share a light orange hue and dried top, fuyus resemble flat-bottomed tomatoes while hachiyas are larger and have one pointed end. Additionally, hachiyas typically have shinier skin.
Ripeness is undoubtably the biggest factor on when to enjoy persimmons. While you can enjoy a fuyu almost anytime, an unripe hichaya is essentially inedible. It’s loaded with tannins, which cause the fruit to taste extremely astringent until it’s perfectly ripe. Allow your hichays to ripen until they’ve gained a mushy, supremely soft texture. On the other hand, ripe fuyus will feel slightly firm.
Interestingly enough, both varieties are closer in taste than anywhere else. Fuyus and hachiyas are both sweet with an underlying richness reminiscent of fall squash, but hachiyas tend to carry a more intense sweetness.
Since both varieties are considered ripe at drastically different points, fuyus and hachiyas aren’t very similar in texture. A ripe fuyu will be crisp and juicy, whereas hachiyas are gooey and soft.
Naturally, these factors determine how you use persimmons in the kitchen. As a general rule, fuyus are best served raw or roasted and are particularly well-placed in fall salads, whereas hachiyas should be reserved for drying and baking. In terms of complimentary flavors, fall classics like pomegranate, pumpkin, and cinnamon work well with both.