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she’s so literal her heart is probably heart-shaped

November 14, 2010

 

hachiya and fuyu

You can always tell when persimmon season is upon us again, because the produce section starts to get really lively, “What kind of  tomato is THAT?” you hear people scream in grocery stores around the city.  Well, actually you never hear people scream that, or really say anything about persimmons, but what I’m saying is they should.  Persimmons are pretty much the fruit world’s best-kept secret.

I was first acquainted with persimmons when I lived in southern Spain for the worst 4 months of my life.  This was a time period when if I had been able to speak Spanish, and my host family had deigned to speak to me and we had gone around the dinner table saying the highs and lows of our days, my high would have been a piece of fruit and my low would have been, “Everything else.  You.” Which should tell you something about how little I understood the point of studying abroad.

There are two varieties, the small tomato-shaped Fuyu, and the larger fat-bullet shaped Hachiya.  In Spain, I ate the Hachiya exclusively, to absolutely no deleterious effect.  However, whenever I have eaten the Hachiya in the United States, it has always been a mistake.  This type of persimmon is very astringent due high levels of soluble tannins, and if eaten before it is ripe (and from what I can tell it is never ripe) will turn your mouth inside out.  It’s a very strange feeling and worth a try, if you want to experience what can only be described as your delicate cheek tissue rapidly sloughing off and going down your throat.

The Fuyu, while not completely free of tannins, has never caused my mouth to shed a layer of skin, and has become my go-to persimmon.  I am often asked while eating my daily persimmon, what it tastes like, and to that I can only say that a good persimmon tastes like something the gods would eat.  The flesh, and I do not use that word lightly, is subtly sweet, with a texture somewhere between a pear and something way better, and it’s the color of a sunset.  In other words don’t ask me what a persimmon tastes like.  Taste your own persimmon today.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2010 4:33 am

    i ate 3 fuyus just today. CANNOT GET ENOUGH on their short season.

  2. ben permalink
    November 15, 2010 10:35 pm

    You don’t wait for Hachiya persimmons to get ripe; they’re still astringent when they’re ripe. You only eat them after they’ve started to decay.

  3. November 16, 2010 9:29 pm

    the key with the Hachiyas, which I prefer almost to exclusivity, is that you can ) _only_ eat them when they are so tender and squishy that they’re about to fall apart. Problem is, it’s really hard for retailers to keep them like that. I usually only buy them if I want to eat them right away, because they never make it home in one piece at that stage. If it’s not slurry inside, it’s not ready. But when it is ready, just nibble a little hole in the tip and suck out the insides. Yup.

  4. December 9, 2010 4:18 pm

    I quoted and linked you on my persimmon post 🙂

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  1. Persimmon Party « Mission Mission

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