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Thread: Persimmons

  1. #1
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    Persimmons

    In Boston, on the North End tour we learned about Persimmons, which I have been wanting to try. Well, yesterday at WF I decide to pick one up - it was one of the oblong firm ones. I don't know if it just wasn't ripe, or it's me, but the first feeling I had was that sort of tannic feeling where your mouth becomes really dry and your lips curl up and stick to your gums. But then the taste becomes so sweet and delicious. Well, I decide to remove some of the peel and try that way, nope same reaction. I keep trying because the end flavor is so wonderful, but my mouth gets drier and drier and feels like my gums and throat are swelling. I decide at this point that maybe I'm allergic to persimmons to my knowledge, I'm not allergic to any food.

    So was my persimmon not ripe? It was very firm and unbruised. The fruit inside was a bright orange and very smooth.

    I did a search regarding this and came up with this thread that sort of answered my question, but thought it might be useful to ask again. Anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Emily, I had the same experience with my first and last persimmon. Mine may have been underripe as well, but I just decided that life without persimmons was fine by me.

    Jen

  3. #3
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    Actually, I seem to recall, that's about the right flavor for persimmons, but cooked into things like persimmon molds or such, they come out wonderfully. I don't know if something special needs to be done, though.

    My grandmother has a persimmon tree. We always have persimmon dishes around the holidays.

  4. #4
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    Interesting that you should mention these now. I was just doing a search for persimmon recipes. My husband brought home a couple and said he found a tree with more, and could I use them? I have never cooked with them before, but seem to remember a woman in Florida years ago that made persimmon bread? Does this sound right? I would love it if someone could post some favorite recipes!

    Heidi

  5. #5
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    Heidi,

    There are a few recipes on the thread I posted up above. I've decided that I'm not giving up on them, I guess I'll just try them cooked, because I really did like the flavor. I wish I had a tree because even on sale here they're still $0.99 each! Ouch.

    Emily

  6. #6
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    There are two types of persimmons, Fuyu and Hachiya. The Fuyu are hard and crunchy like an apple, my mom eats them that way. The Hachiya is mainly used in cookies and cakes. They are yucky when you eat them straight. They are completely ripe when you can put your finger through them .

    Mom used to make the best persimmon cookies, I like them with chocolate chips.

    Where I live they are EVERYWHERE!!!

    More info: http://www.aboutproduce.com/PRODUCE/...sp?C=Persimmon
    *Susan*

    "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

    A.A. Milne

  7. #7
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    I, too, wish they were in my backyard! The oblong persimmons (Hachiya), do need to feel jelly-like before they're ripe. Also, I sometimes get the feeling Emily described when I eat near the stem. But if they're ripe, the rest of it should be ultra-sweet. Don't give up on them. And, like swquilts said, they fuyu variety is eaten when it's hard. (Those are short and flattened looking).

  8. #8
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    Ah, so I just messed up the types in my head! Woo hoo, I'm glad I'm not allergic and I can keep trying because I really did love the flavor. Thanks ladies!!!

    Oh and Susan (swquilts) do you have your mom's recipe for those cookies? TIA.

    Emily

  9. #9
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    I do seem to recall that one kind of persimmon was much better than the other raw, but I didn't remember that the "hard" one was the one that was better raw...hmmmm. I actually remember eating one that was sort of pudding-y raw...but that must have been the other kind. I know I've had good farm-fresh persimmons that were WONDERFUL raw in California, but I haven't had one in a long time. This thread is interesting to me, though, and it's helpful to know what I should look for should I be lucky enough to see them in the store. (Impossible in IL? Maybe.) It's times like this that I REALLY miss the fruit stands in CA.

    This is sort of OT, but how would you compare the "hard" persimmons to quince? I used to get those in CA too. I know they are different, obviously, but for some reason they are associated in my mind, and when someone compared the persimmon to an apple, it reminded me of quince....

    ???
    "In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."
    --Julia Child

  10. #10
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    Persimmon vs Quince?

    I'm not sure which type of Persimmon I've had, but I can't picture it tasting anything like quince. Quince is great, but only if it's cooked. We had a quince tree in our backyard as I grew up. I love them, in certain dishes.

  11. #11
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    Right, I didn't say it tasted like it. The color, the season, etc., makes the two associated in my mind. I guess I was thinking more about preparation methods than taste--particularly for savory dishes.
    "In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."
    --Julia Child

  12. #12
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    I love persimmons and usually eat the Fuya type, which is the kind you can eat like an apple. They are crunchy and sweet and quite good to eat. The other type, Hachiya, must be absolutely, positively ripe - all nice and soft to be eaten raw. When they are unripe, the sensation makes me think of having a mouth full of cotton. I shy away from them because of that. Hachiya can also be frozen and then eaten, sort of like a sorbet.

  13. #13
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    Emily, I just called my mom and she has lost her recipe!!

    I went to www.allrecipes.com and there is about 5 of them.

    Sorry!
    *Susan*

    "One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

    A.A. Milne

  14. #14
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    Hachiya persimmons have to be super soft, otherwise they are arstringent(misspelled but you get the drift). Then they are custard like on the inside. Used in cooking!
    Fuju, are hard and crunchy, but you can let them get a little soft.
    They are NOT astringent but should be sweet. DO NOT REFRIGERATE THEM! After you buy them, put them in a bowl and leave on table.
    I buy my fuju persimmons at the farmers market, and I pay 75cents or so for 1 pound. The advise about refrigeration I got from the farmers.
    If you buy hachiya, you can freeze them if they are not ripe and then take them out of the freezer and thaw them, and sometimes that makes them soft and less puckery.
    Curleytop

  15. #15
    Originally posted by Curleytop
    DO NOT REFRIGERATE THEM! After you buy them, put them in a bowl and leave on table.
    IIf you buy hachiya, you can freeze them if they are not ripe and then take them out of the freezer and thaw them, and sometimes that makes them soft and less puckery.
    I don't know what kind I used to eat (too young to care), but they are sort of squat and round. It's ripe when it's kind of mushy, but it's sooo sweet and juicy, none of the bitter type you guys were mentioning earlier. We also don't eat the skins of this type and the best way to eat it is actually to throw the ripe ones in the FREEEZER, let it thaw a bit, peel off the skin, and it's like eating a smoothie. YUM!

  16. #16
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    Oriental Versus North American

    The persimmons I love are North American persimmons:



    These little guys are about the size of a silver dollar and when ripe they are a golden orange and quite soft. Their skin is velvety. They taste like a cross between pumpkin butter and peaches.

    The one you get in the grocery store is usually a type of oriental persimmon:



    These guys tend to be larger, with slicker skins. I've never had a good one, but that's just because I don't have the knack for picking them.

    Incidentally, an old joke tells of teaching people to kiss by getting them to bite into an unripe persimmon. The alum in them makes you pucker up!
    Nothing in the history of mankind can foul things up quicker than a computer
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  17. #17
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    We have a persimmon tree in the yard of one of our B&Bs but it's much more orange than the ones in the top picture you have posted, Diana.
    Anyway, we're excited to try some of the recipes posted here, thanks for sharing!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by sneezles
    We have a persimmon tree in the yard of one of our B&Bs but it's much more orange than the ones in the top picture you have posted, Diana.
    Like I said, the ripe ones should be a golden orange and soft. (It was worth my life to find photos of any persimmons, much less ripe ones!)

    Here's a southern recipe for Persimmon Pie:

    American Persimmon Pie
    2 cups persimmon pulp (puree it through a sieve; don't use aluminum or tin, because it'll make the pulp turn dark)
    1 egg, beaten
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 9-inch pie shell, uncooked

    Mix persimmon pulp, egg and milk. Mix sugar, salt and cornstarch and add to first mixture. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 50 to 60 minutes longer.
    Nothing in the history of mankind can foul things up quicker than a computer
    ......with the possible exception of tequila and handguns.
    --Anonymous

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