Mission Persimmon: Tips and Tricks

Too often overshadowed by the “other” orange fall crop, persimmons represent an integral part of the bountiful autumn harvest. Serving as a transition between sweet, crisp apples and rich fall squash, persimmons expertly balance aspects of both into an experience all its own. This unique fruit calls for some unique care, so be sure to utilize these tips and tricks to keep your persimmons in top shape.

  • Although there are over 100 varieties of persimmons commercially available, you’re most likely to come across either fuyus or hachiyas and the differences between the two siblings can be staggering. Check out Family Feud to see how they vary in taste, texture, and more.
  • When selecting persimmons, avoid fruit with bruises or markings. For fuyus and hachiyas, a light orange hue is ideal, although small black streaks can appear on the latter. Some even consider black marks to be a sign of exceptional sweetness!
  • In terms of texture, look for persimmons that are firm and have slight give, unless you’re searching for hachiyas, which should only be eaten when they’re extremely soft.
  • Persimmons should always be stored at room temperature, as they’re vulnerable to frost damage after they’re picked. If you need to speed up the ripening process, store your persimmons in a paper bag on the counter.
    • Pro Tip: Some chefs freeze hachiyas in order to minimize their astringency, but we’d recommend against it; freezing can quickly diminish the quality of your fruit.
  • Be on the lookout for rare varieties of persimmons like “chocolate,” “cinnamon” and “brown sugar” (also referred to as tsurunoko, maru, and hyakume respectively). Though uncommon, each have memorable flavor profiles that you won’t find in other persimmons.