Persimmons, also known as the 'food of the Gods’ (from the Greek name Diospyros), and Sharon fruit are equally good for adding a splash of colour to dishes come the colder months.
The unusual yellowy orange deliciously sweet fleshed fruit comes into season between November and December and hails from warmer climes like China, Korea and Japan. Although some varieties can also be found in the US.
Persimmon health benefits
Nutritionally speaking Persimmons are also worth more dietary attention, being high in fibre, beta carotene and minerals like sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron.
If you’re new to this dinky fruit we have a few pointers on how to eat a Persimmon.
Persimmons can generally be found commercially in two varieties, non-astringent (Fuyu) and astringent (HACHIYA). It’s important to recognise the difference as they may look similar, but should actually be treated very differently and eaten at very different stages of ripeness.
Non astringent Fuyus are squat and round like a tomato and should be eaten when firm and crisp and barely ripe. Generally speaking they can be treated like an apple, sliced up or bitten into whole, skin included or peeled.
Fuyus work well in salads showcasing their attractive interior or baked into pies and cakes, or even sliced onto chia pancakes for breakfast. Here's the recipe.
With such a distinctive interior they have even been used in Ozark folklore to predict the severity of the upcoming winter.
Astringent Hachiya are shaped more like a giant acorn and must be eaten when almost overripe otherwise they are tart and chalky - when they feel like a water balloon ready to burst their skin, they are ready.
Usually they are too soft to slice and are best eaten cut in half simply scooping the flesh out with a spoon.
In cooking the rich, sweet, spicy qualities of Hachiyas makes them ideal for use in jams or compotes.
Otherwise you could try a sunshine filled autumn/winter vegan persimmon smoothie. Here's the recipe.
Epicurious have some deliciuos baking and savoury tips for persimmon, plus cocktails and chutney and sorbet.
If you fancy mixing up your fruit bowl here are 10 hybrid fruits worth recognising.