Until moving to California, the only kind of persimmon I'd ever tried was the dried variety from bulk bins. Wouldn't you know it, now I have a whole tree of them growing in the front yard. What's a newbie West Coast gal to do?
My powers of persimmon identification aren't very field-tested, but I'm fairly certain these are Hachiya persimmons. They're more lantern-shaped than squat and are such a rich red-orange color that they practically glow. The first few fruits to become ripe have felt like water balloons in my hand.
Those were the fruits I ate whole, scooping out the jelly-like insides with a spoon. They tasted sweet and floral. I've been trying to think of another fruit or flavor to compare them to, but keep coming up blank. A bit apricot-like? Maybe some green grape flavor? No, nothing quite fits. They are indescribably persimmony.
The rest of the fruits on the tree are starting to ripen all at once. I'm expecting a deluge of squishy persimmons any day now and have been gathering recipes in anticipation. Here are the ones I'm planning to try first:
FROM THE KITCHN:
• Persimmon Cookies from Simply Recipes
• Persimmon Chai Tartes Tatin from Tartelette
• Persimmon and Honey Ice Cream from Serious Eats
• Chocolate Persimmon Muffins from David Lebovitz
• Chinese Five Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Triple Spiced Persimmon Chutney from Matt Armendariz via Spice Islands
What persimmon recipes do you love?
Related: Food Crush: Quince
(Images: Emma Christensen)