Beautiful orangey, red Persimmons are now in season and will show up in many boxes during their October-February season. An often underrated treat, persimmons are sweet and delicious, adding a honey-like brightness to desserts, salads and as a snack. Two primary varieties of persimmons are available - fuyu and hachiya, with differences in how they are eaten and prepared. To make the most of your persimmons, learn more about this delicious, seasonal fruit.
Hachiya vs. Fuyu: shape or how to know which is which
Both hachiya and fuyu persimmons can range from a light yellow-orange to a deeper, dark reddish orange. In shape, however, the two varieties have distinct differences. Hachiya persimmons are typically an elongated shape, often referred to as heart shaped or similar to an acorn or very plum (roma) tomato.
The fuyu variety is round and squat, similar in shape to a beefsteak tomato.
Hachiya vs. Fuyu: Astringency
The two varieties of persimmons differ greatly in their astringency. Astringency is the dry, puckering mouthfeel that the tannin of some fruit create if eaten before completely ripe. For persimmons, the hachiya variety is the astringent of the two. Thus, hachiya persimmons should be eaten they are totally softened - you know when to eat a hachiya when it feels like a water balloon or an over-ripe tomato.
Fuyu persimmons are far less astringent. This means that fuyu persimmons can be enjoyed while still firm as well as when they are soft.
HACHIYA VS. FUYU: Preparation
Lastly, due to how these varieties differ in their astringency, the way they are prepared and eaten is also quite different.
Fuyu persimmons, can be eaten when firm or soft and will be crisp and sweet. Fuyus can be enjoyed raw on their own or sliced and added to salads, sliced and roasted for a sweet and savory side dish or blended into smoothies.
Hachiya persimmons, must be incredibly soft before you eat them (remember - you want the fruit to feel like a water balloon). Many folks, after waiting until their hachiyas are very, very ripe, dig in to the fruit's creamy interior simply with a spoon and eat it plain or mix it in to yogurt or oatmeal for some added sweetness. Because of a perfectly ripe hachiya persimmon's texture, these fruits are good for in baked goods like muffins, cookies and breads.
No matter which variety you try, persimmons are sure to provide a sweet and delicious treat this fall. If you're new to preparing persimmons, we've listed some recipes below to help you get started!