Persimmons are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week at the valley’s Certified Farmers’ Markets. The fruit of a number of species of Ebony wood trees, Persimmons are native to almost every continent, but were first consumed in large quantities in ancient China. Today, while a variety of species grow in the wild, only two types are commercially available - Hachiya and Fuyu – the first, being of the “astringent” variety, and the second, “non-astringent.”
Hachiya Persimmons are “astringent” Persimmons. 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 are “non-astringent” Persimmons, 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: You can ripen Persimmons by placing them in a paper bag at room temperature with an apple or banana.
Price: $ 2 per pound and up
All Certified Farmers’ Markets accept CalFresh EBT Cards, WIC Farmers’ Market Checks, and Senior Farmers’ Market Checks. The Markets also offer Market Bucks that can be purchased using charge cards or cash, then used at the market for purchases.
Palm Desert Certified Farmers’ Market: NEW HOURS in Palm Desert only (8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.). The Market will once again be held at 72-599 Highway 111 (adjacent to the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce).
Palm Springs Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market will once again be held at 2300 Baristo Rd. (adjacent to The Camelot Theatres)
La Quinta Certified Farmers’ Market: The Market will once again be held in Old Town La Quinta at 78100 Main Street (off Calle Tampico).
The Certified Farmers’ Markets are the Coachella Valley’s only State and County Certified Farmers’ Markets. That means all the fruits, vegetables, meats and other products that are on sale at the markets have been grown on California Certified farms. In addition, almost all the farms are located within a 90 mile radius of the markets (thus reducing the carbon footprint), and many of the products sold are “USDA Certified Organic.”
The Certified Farmers Markets are sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.