There are entire sections of the produce aisle that I regularly breeze right through and probably shouldn’t. There are cases of fruits from foreign lands that I would not even begin to know how to cook with. How do I pick a ‘good’ one? Can I eat them out of hand or are they better cooked? Do they need to ripen or are they ready to eat off the shelf? Persimmons fall into this category. I have cast an eye at those pretty orange fruit more than once, but didn’t have any idea what to do with them. Persimon Persimmons takes a lot of the guesswork out of buying this fruit, making it far more accessible.
Thanks to my new friend, Scott, at my local Sobey’s store, I was able to not only track down the Persimon Persimmons, but he gladly explained how to pick one, how to eat them, and when they are available. Here are some things he (and the lovely people from Persimon) told me:
- When picking a persimmon, most will need to ripen. Persimon Persimmons, however, are ready to eat right off the shelf. You are looking for one slightly firmer than a peach, closer to a ripe (but not overripe), tomato. The dark spots on the skin (they look sort of like a bruise) do not indicate damaged or inedible fruit as with an apple.
- Most persimmons do not have a true pit like say, a peach would. Most have a less than desirable core down the middle (similar to many pears) that , while edible, many people choose not to. As you can see, I lucked out and did find one with a pronounced pit.
- The skin is edible, but as Scott the Produce Manager pointed out, his kids prefer them peeled.
- Persimmons do not need to be refrigerated and are best kept at room temperature. You will frequently find them sold by the case.
- Persimmons are very high in Vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. Each piece of fruit also contain 6 grams of fibre.
But what do persimmons taste like and what do you do with them? To me, they taste like a mild peach but a firmer texture. They are not as sweet as a tree ripened fruit, closer to the sugar level of a still crunchy pear.
But now, what to do with the Persimon Persimmon? The Persimon Says website offers a variety of recipes, including one for Tuile Cups with Persimon Cream. Always looking to find a reasonable shortcut, I used some waffle bowls instead of painstakingly creating those delicate little Tuile Cups.
Mine turned out something like this. Don’t skip glazing the Persimon balls – it definitely enhances the flavour. I might try glazing the blackberries next time as well. Each piece of whole fruit will yield approximately 3/4 cup of chopped fruit. You can find persimmons during the holiday season, roughly November through January, depending on the year. Persimon Persimmons are available exclusively at Sobey’s, Metro, or their related stores.
Persimmon Cream in a Waffle Bowl with Persimon Persimmons
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ⅔ cup icing sugar
- 1 cup Persimon persimmon , pureed (1-2 pieces of fruit)
- 2 Persimon persimmons , whole
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 pint fresh berries (blackberries, raspberries, etc.)
- 8 waffle sundae bowls
Beat whipping cream and icing sugar until stiff.
Gently fold in Persimon Persimmon puree; set aside
In a saucepan, combine water, lemon juice, and sugar.
Simmer until thickened
Using a melon baller or teaspoon measuring spoon, gently scoop out the flesh of the two whole Persimon persimmons
Gently toss them in the thickened mixture to coat.
Divide the whipped cream between the waffle bowls
Sprinkle with coated Persimon persimmon balls and fresh berries.