Certified Farmers' Market

Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the Week for November 12, 2009

Persimmons, the edible fruit of the Persimmon Tree, are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week. Persimmons are quite delicious, but before you bite into one, make sure you know which kind of persimmon it is, and whether or not it’s ripe. Otherwise you may find yourself spitting it out and looking for a quick splash of water to wash your mouth out.

Persimmon Basics: There are two types of persimmons that are commercially available– astringent and non-astringent.

Hachiya Persimmons are the most common astringent variety. They contain very high levels of soluble tannins, making them highly unpalatable if consumed before being fully ripe. The astringency of the tannins can be removed by exposure to light for several days, wrapping the fruit in paper for for several days, freezing, and/or artificially (with chemicals). When ripe, these persimmons are quite delicious and are often used for baking.

Fuyu is the most common type of non-astringent persimmon, and can be eaten while very firm, like an apple. Non-astringent persimmons are not actually free of tannins, but are far less astringent before ripening. Fuyu persimmons are round and flat, bright orange in color, and almost look like a mini pumpkin.

Did you know: Ancient Greeks called Persimmons “The Fruit of the Gods,” and they were either loved or hated, no doubt depending on whether or not they were ripe, when consumed by early European settlers in the New World.

Price: $1.25/pound and up, depending on the variety.

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