Persimmons, also known as “the fruit of the gods” in ancient Greek, come in two main varieties: Hachiya and Fuyu. Most people are more familiar with the astringent Hachiya variety, which is consumed when very ripe by cutting off the top with a knife and scooping out the flesh with a spoon. I find however, that people are often a little wary of Fuyu persimmons. Are they sweet? How do you know when they are ripe? How do you eat them?
Unlike the acorn shaped Hachiya persimmon which is extremely astringent when firm and unripe, the squat tomato shaped Fuyu persimmon is non-astringent, and at it’s best when bright orange and still firm. The texture of the fruit can range from crispy (like an apple) to slightly soft and yielding (like a pear) depending on the level of ripeness. The flavor of the fuyu can best be described as having a complex sweetness (like brown sugar or dark honey) and it is amazing eaten on it’s own, or sliced and tossed into a salad.
Fuyu persimmons are generally in season from late October into December, and are one of my favorite fall fruits, so I’m getting my fill while I can.