Sunday, July 28th, 2013...3:33 pm

Enjoying and Growing and Cooking With Persimmons

Diospyros kaki (Persimmon or Kaki)by Arthur Chapman

I enjoy going to Asian or Indian food markets because of the variety of exotic, to my eyes, fruits and vegetables they carry. I always come home with a new taste treat. Some I love and some I don’t care to try a second time. But the experience is so much fun.

I adore the Japanese or Asian persimmons- called Kaki in Japanese, though they originate in China and Korea, too. I like the non-astringent variety, which you eat when it is hard. The astringent types of persimmons, like the American persimmon, you must wait until the fruit is very, very soft to eat it. You can tell the difference in some of the persimmons because most of the non-astringent varieties are flatter in shape; the astringent ones seem to be shaped like acorns. I am not a connoisseur of Japanese persimmons, so I mostly buy fuyu persimmons which are the most readily available in supermarkets or in Chinatown or even my local food store. Persimmons are sold for a longer time period in Asian food markets. I look for the brightest orange ones I can find. Blemishes don’t seem to affect the taste. To see how to pick persimmons when buying, watch this video:

I have baked pies with the American persimmon when I have found a surplus of persimmons in the market. All persimmons can be used for baking and cooking. (see here) If my readers have a favorite persimmon recipe, would you share it with TheGardenLady readers.

If you have room in your garden or on your property, consider raising your own persimmons. Most don’t like frost, but the American persimmon tree can be raised in zone 5 to zone 9. The American persimmon also makes a wonderful planting if you want to encourage wildlife onto your property.

Some of the Japanese persimmons can be raised in zones 6 through 10. For a nursery that sells numerous varieties of both astringent and non-astringent, American and Asian persimmons, you can look at the Willis Orchard website here.


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