April 23, 2017

Fruit of a Berry Tree

Diospyros - Persimmon

Janine Pineo Photo | Diospyros – Persimmon

Around Thanksgiving, one starts seeing different fruit at the grocery store, some that isn’t necessarily grown in Maine. Such is the case with the persimmon, a member of the Diospyros genus. With many species originating in Asia, Europe and North America, probably the better known ones (that is, more edible) come from China and Japan. Pictured above is likely the Fuyu persimmon, from a tree that is hardy to Zone 6. There are two types: astringent and non-astringent. The astringent varieties must be extremely ripe to the point of softness to eat fresh, while the non-astringent ones are still crisp when ripe. Fuyu is a non-astringent and best when just slightly soft. The fruit ripens after being picked and so can sit on a counter to ripen before eating. That big thing on the top of a persimmon is the calyx, which becomes easy to remove once the fruit – technically a berry – is ripe. How do you eat a persimmon? Take off the calyx, core and peel it. Then enjoy.