Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Persimmons
- Choose persimmons with a healthy green calyx (stem). Older persimmons will have a dry brittle calyx.
- When selecting a Fuyu persimmon, look for full orange color and be sure they are firm. Overripe Fuyus will lose their crispness.
- Ripe Fuyus should be eaten when firm so they’re crisp. Soft Fuyus are past their prime.
- Most Hachiyas are sold when still firm, but should not be used until they have softened. Think of a how a water balloon feels when you gently squeeze it – that’s how a ripe, ready-to-eat Hachiya persimmon should feel. Almost liquid-like.
- Select Hachiyas with smooth, dark orange skin. If a Hachiya has a bit of a black, smudge-like mark, that indicates it’s received a little sun, and therefore may be a bit sweeter.
- To hasten the ripening of a Hachiya persimmon, treat it as you would a firm avocado: place it in a paper bag with a banana or an apple, seal it shut and leave it on the counter for a few days. The ethylene gases from the other fruits will help ripen the fruit faster. You can also place firm Hachiyas in the freezer and thaw them in the fridge. This will soften their texture when they thaw, rendering them ready to use for any recipe.
- Store persimmons at room temperature or in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator – unlike most produce, persimmons stored in a refrigerated area (about 40°F or lower) will go bad faster than if stored at room temperature.
Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables – some of you won’t find anywhere else.