Perhaps you've been at the market around the holidays and noticed a small orange pumpkin-shaped fruit whose skin resembles that of an apricot. This is a Fuyu persimmon.
Fuyu persimmons are very sweet and have a bright flavor, not unlike an apple, but less acidic. They also have a texture similar to that of an apple.
Fuyu persimmons are wonderful to eat raw alongside a charcuterie tray with soft fresh cheeses like mozzarella or mascarpone with walnuts and hazelnuts. Persimmons, in general, are holiday fruits and they don't disappoint. You can add them to holiday breads and they pair wonderfully with flavors like cinnamon and cloves. And these little beauties make a perfect addition to a fruit or green salad.
And, in a season that is filled with all sorts of unhealthy foods, fuyu persimmons are a great source of dietary fiber, manganese, beta-carotene, vitamin C, Vitamin A and Iron. This and their low calorie content make them a perfect and healthy holiday snack.
The Fuyu persimmon, or Diospyros kaki 'fuyu', is a non-astringent variety of persimmon that lacks a true core and tannins, and for the most part doesn't have seeds. For those reasons, you can eat the entire fruit, like you would eat an apple except, in this case, you don't have to stop and toss out the core —while it may not be as tasty as the rest— it is totally edible. When ripe, they look like a little pumpkin, in shape and color.
< p>Fuyu persimmons have been cultivated all over Asia for thousands of years and are considered the national fruit of Japan. The name Diospyros actually means "divine fruit" in Greek which tells you the love that people have had for persimmons over many centuries.
Different types of fuyu persimmons have been developed over the years to be more disease resistant, and to maximize flavor and hardiness. They are the most common and commercially successful persimmon on the market today.
If you are a fan of persimmons, you've likely also seen a persimmon that is more elongated—like a roma tomato. This is the hachiya persimmon. With hachiya persimmons, you eat them when they are a little bit squishy. If you try to eat them when they are hard, they are very astringent and will leave you sucking your teeth.
Fuyu persimmons do not have that astringent quality and are eaten when they are still firm. The hachiya variety are much more commonly used for baking and making compotes and jellies.
Fuyu persimmons have been growing for thousands of years across Asia. China is the leading producer of fuyu persimmons in the world, producing more than three million tons annually.
The seeds were brought into the United States in 1856 on the American naval ship of Commander M.C. Perry. Most of the US production is found in California, specifically in the central San Joaquin Valley, as well as in San Diego, Riverside and Orange County.
You can also find fuyu persimmons growing in Texas and Florida.
Persimmon is primarily a winter crop harvesting from Thanksgiving to Christmas making it a perfect addition to your holiday recipes, whether baking with them or eating them raw!
Whether a fuyu persimmon is certified organic or not will depend on the farm where it was grown. At FruitStand, we partner with family and specialty farms for exceptional quality of produce. When each harvest is available, we'll tell you whether the fruit is considered organic or conventional.