Permission is an exotic fruit that is native to many East Asian countries. While there are many varieties of persimmons found and consumed all over the world, there are a few that are more popular than the rest.
Fuyu and hachiya persimmons are commonly found at markets throughout the world. These persimmons can be used in many recipes and dishes.
But what do persimmons taste like?
Persimmons have a very similar taste to cantaloupes. The flesh of a persimmon and the flesh of a cantaloupe are similar in texture as well as the slightly sweet undertone of flavor you know and love.
Persimmons tend to be paired with warm fall spices in recipes. This is because the persimmon itself gives off some of these flavor undertones. Some people even compare the taste of a persimmon to honey and squash in a vegetable flavor profile way.
Since there are so many different varieties of persimmons to try, and no two taste the same, there are endless options for you to explore!
What is a Persimmon?
When you come across a persimmon in your local produce section, you may be taken aback to learn that these tomato looking crops are actually berries.
These exotic fruits can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. However, many people like to compare the look of a persimmon to a fleshy tomato in warm tones.
Even with so many varieties of persimmons in the world, the two most common kinds to find in America are the Asian varieties of fuyu and hachiya.
These types of persimmons are also sometimes called Chinese or Japanese Persimmons and kaki persimmons, since they are grown on the Diospyros kaki tree.
How Would You Describe the Taste of a Persimmon?
Many people describe the taste and texture of a persimmon to a cantaloupe. Cantaloupe are slightly sweet and refreshing and carry a very silky yet defined texture. However, the exact taste of a persimmon depends on which variety it is.
Some persimmons carry heavy flavors of warm spices. These varieties are often used in fall dishes and enjoyed during autumn festivities.
It is said that biting into a fuyu persimmon can taste very similar to an apple, but full of amazing fall flavors like nutmeg and clove.
Hachiya persimmons have a much different texture and can be similar to eating a fall spiced apple custard.
No matter which persimmon you choose to explore, you are definitely in for a unique and sensational culinary experience.
Does a Persimmon Taste Like a Tomato?
Although persimmons look very similar to orange or yellow colored heirloom tomatoes, they do not taste like them at all. Tomatoes are sweet, juicy, and bursting with fresh summer flavor.
Persimmons on the other hand, provide a more autumn spice flavor palette and range from an apple like texture to a custard like texture depending on the variety and the level of ripeness.
What Fruit is Similar to a Persimmon?
Persimmons are oftentimes compared to plums or apricots by Americans who are trying to explain the exotic persimmon to another individual.
That is because plums and apricots have a similar texture and sweetness to themselves as persimmons do. However, these fruits lack the unique pumpkin pie essence that a persimmon has.
Many people think to compare a persimmon to a pumpkin or other squash since these are also autumn crops, however, persimmons naturally have the spice flavor that you have to add to these other autumn treats.
There is simply no other fruit or vegetable in the world just like a persimmon. They are entirely unique in flavor profile.
Where Do Persimmons Grow?
Persimmons are grown all over the world. However, they originated in East Asian countries, where they still have a very strong hold.
This is because persimmons originated in China on trees from the Diospyros genus. These trees are a mix of both evergreen and deciduous trees that can grow up to 40 feet tall!
Now persimmons are grown throughout Eastern Asia with many trees in China, Japan, Korea, and in northern India.
Persimmons have a close tie with East Asian culture and can be found in early October at many Asian markets even in areas where no persimmons grow.
Today, there are persimmon trees all through the Middle East and into Europe as well. Even though most traditional recipes that involve persimmons are Asian, many European cultures have used persimmons in sweet baking recipes during the autumn months.
How to Eat a Persimmon
The taste and how you eat a persimmon depends on whether the fruit is astringent or non-astringent.
Non-astringent persimmon varieties can be eaten when they have become firm, but are more enjoyable when you allow them to fully ripen before consuming.
The non-astringent variety you will most likely find in America is the fuyu persimmon. This persimmon is round and squat.
It shares a similar appearance to a tomato. However, instead of being red, the fuyu persimmon ranges in color from yellow to dark orange-red.
Since these persimmons become firm as they ripen, it is not uncommon to bite into it like an apple. You can also slice the fruit and eat raw in pieces as a snack or cook into your favorite recipes.
The other variety of persimmon that is commonly found in America, the hachiya persimmon, is astringent.
Before this persimmon is completely ripe, it will taste insanely sour and tannic. However, as they ripen the skin of the hachiya persimmon becomes transparent. Inside the persimmon continues to ripen, the flesh within becomes a jelly like pulp.
When it comes to eating hachiya persimmons, it is better to scoop the pulp with a spoon or other utensil.
Instead of consuming the fruit as you would be able to with the fuyu persimmon, hachiya persimmon varieties are more commonly used in jams, perseveres, jellies, and as the fruit filling in pies.
Persimmons are a delicious and exotic fruit that offers a taste and flavor profile like no other.
These fruits may look like tomatoes, but the resemblance stops there. Inside the yellow to orangish red skin of a persimmon is delicious flesh that tastes of all your favorite fall flavors.
Depending on the variety of persimmon, you can bite into it and enjoy it like an apple or you can scoop out the custard-like inside to make jams, spreads, and pie fillings.
Persimmons are found all over the world today, but are mainly consumed in Asian countries. This is because the trees originated in China. Since then, these unique fruits have found their way into many special occasion dishes and festivities.
You can pick up some persimmons at a supermarket or Asian market near you, but only in the month of October.
These fruits only thrive in autumn conditions, meaning they only have a short growth period. It is best to enjoy all the persimmon flavored goodies you can find before they are retired until the next season!