Peak-of-the-Season Persimmons Available Now
These great orange globes are the perfect fall fruit!
It’s happening, those telltale signs of the holiday season are increasing in frequency: fresh chestnuts populate our shelves, daily calls from shoppers in search of those hard-to-find ingredients for holiday recipes, and we have loads of local persimmons, those bright orange globes of fruit suspended from bare (or nearly bare) tree branches around the Bay.
It’s true that persimmons aren’t too well known, especially to those who grew up outside the Bay. We’ve overheard some customers refer to them as orange tomatoes, a new variety of apple and even “the international fruit of mystery.”
There are two mainstream types of persimmons on the market, the Hachiya and the Fuyu. We have spray-free Fuyus coming to
us directly from Mr. Fujita of Morgan Hill (he’s Paul Sigona’s father-in-law).
As for their flavor, persimmons have a presentation that’s all their own. Some say they taste a hint of cinnamon, brown sugar, pumpkin, plum and honey, while others describe them as having a sweet-spicy flavor similar to a blend of mango and papaya with a bit of apricot.
Unlike the basic similarities most fruits with many varieties, such as apples or tomatoes, knowing the difference between a Hachiya and a Fuyu is detrimental to a persimmon’s success with your taste buds. Why? Well, one bite into an unripe Hachiya and you’ll probably never eat a persimmon again. Ever.
It’s easy to tell the difference between a Fuyu and a Hachiya: the Fuyu is bright orange, firm, squat and rounded. The Hachiya is darker orange, heart shaped and has a pointed end. When ripe, the Hachiya is soft to the touch. An unripe (or firm) Hachiya has a powerful astringent flavor that is very bitter, almost chalky. It’s quite unpleasant. However, the pulp from a ripe Hachiya is delicious, versatile and makes a killer bread. More on this variety in a minute.
You’ll love the sweet flavor and crisp texture of the ready-to-eat Fuyu persimmon. The Fuyu can be eaten out of hand like an apple or pear, and there is no need to peel them. The texture of Fuyus allows them to be used similarly to apples and pears, such as in a salad or cobbler, and they’re sturdy enough to be used in stir-fries as well. Fuyus do not darken when cut, so they can be sliced and made part of a vegetable or fruit tray.
My Uncle Paul picks up the fresh-picked, spray-free Fuyus from his father-in-law, Mr. Fujita, in the morning on his way in to the store. Once they arrive, they go straight up on the store shelf – now that’s fresh! Mr. Fujita, has grown Fuyus for 25 years in Morgan Hill and is our primary source for the locally grown fruits. You’ll be hard pressed to find quality Fuyus like Mr. Fujita’s elsewhere, and especially at this price!