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by Jennifer A. Wickes

Other names: kaki, date plum, simmon

Common Varieties: Hachiya, Fuyu, Sharon fruit

Season: October through February

Geography: Grows from Connecticut down the coast to Florida, as well as from Kansas south to Texas. They are also native to Japan, China and the Middle East.

Where to Find Locally: Earth Friendly Organic Farm, 17 Olde Noah Hunt Road, Cream Ridge, NJ 609-259-9744

What Does It Look Like: A persimmon looks similar to a tomato, a bit more heart-shaped, with a red-orange skin and flesh with some papery leaves on top.

How to Select: Choose fruit that is soft and plump, but not mushy. The skin should be smooth, bright and shiny.

Storage: Store unripened fruit in the refrigerator up to 30 days. The pulp may be frozen for future use. You can also oven dry 1/4″ slices of persimmons in a 250 degree oven for 90 minutes.

How to Ripen: Place at room temperature and allow to sit for 2 – 7 days. Some varieties of persimmons have a more astringent flavor if they have not ripened enough.

Preparation: Wash skin gently. Cut the fruit in half. Remove the stem leaves, the core and seeds. Persimmons can be eaten raw or used in baked goods.

Nutrition: Contain a large amount of vitamin A and some vitamin C.

Health Benefits: Persimmons sooth sore throat pain and are a mild laxative.

Trivia: It is the national fruit of Japan.

Flavor Affinities: Almonds, apples, brandy, cinnamon, ginger, grapes, hazelnuts, ice cream, kiwifruit, lemons, limes, oranges, pine nuts, pomegranates, soft cheeses, walnuts, yogurt.

Serving Ideas: Add to fruit salads, puree in smoothies, add mashed fruit to pancake batter or quick breads. Use dried persimmons in place of other dried fruit in recipes.

Serving Size: 1 medium fruit; 1/2 cup cooked; 1/2 cup dried

Persimmon in Another Language:

  • Arabic: وفاكهة البرسيمون;
  • Bulgarian: японско;
  • Chinese: 柿子;
  • Croatian: dragun;
  • Czech: tomel;
  • Danish: Kaki;
  • Dutch: Kaki;
  • Filipino: persimon;
  • Finnish: kaki;
  • French: plaqueminier;
  • Greek: διόσπυπος;
  • Hebrew: אפרסמון; Hindi: ख़ुरमा;
  • Indonesian: kesemak;
  • Italian: cachi;
  • Japanese: 柿;
  • Korean: 감;
  • Latvian: hurma;
  • Lithuanian: persimonų;
  • Portuguese: caqui;
  • Romanian: curmal japonez;
  • Russian: хурма;
  • Serbian: драгун;
  • Slovak: tomel;
  • Slovenian: Dragun;
  • Spanish: caqui;
  • Swedish: PERSIMONTRÄD;
  • Ukrainian: хурма

Persimmon Scones

2 cups self-raising flour

3 tbsp. brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

1/2 cup persimmon pulp

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place unripened persimmons in a freezerover night.  In the morning, peel, remove the papery leaves and mash the pulp. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, and mix well.  Add the butter and mix until the mixture has small pea-sized its of butter.

In a separate bowl, mix the butter mik, persimmon pulp and vanilla, then pour into the dry ingredients.

Mix until the mixture just comes together. With extra flour, shape the mixture into one large round circle 1″ thick, then score the dough into 8 even-sized triangular wedges.

Place on a baking sheet at the upper half of the over and bake 15 – 18 minutes, until golden brown.

Yields: 8 servings

Mixed Green Salad with Persimmons

4 cups mixed greens

2 persimmons, chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cups walnuts

1 tablespoon of honey, warmed

3 tablespoons walnut oil

6 tablespoons champagne vinegar

1/2 teaspoon quatre epices

In a small bowl, mix the walnut oil, vinegar and quatre epices together.  Set aside.

Toss the walnuts in honey and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool.

In a large bowl, add the greens, persimmons, cranberries, the walnuts and toss with the dressing.

Yields: 4 side salads, or 2 main dishes


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