Our native wild persimmons are small.
While they are more diminutive than their counterparts from the supermarket, they are no less special.
Persimmons are nature’s candy!
Under-ripe persimmons are very astringent... almost painful to eat!
But fully ripe, these native fruits are super concentrated in natural sugar.
But remember... only fully ripe!
If they’re really soft and kinda wrinkly… perfect!
These are pretty, but not yet ripe.
They have to be soft and mushy to be good.
Worth the wait.
Harvest time is fall into winter.
It’s a common misconception that persimmons need a frost to ripen.
Fact is, I often find them perfectly ripe before a frost has occurred.
Persimmons still attached to the tree are usually not ripe (but there are exceptions).
Don’t be afraid to gather them from the ground.
When ripe they start to fall from the tree.
Pick one up and taste it. It should be sweet and pleasant.
Wild persimmons have a long season. You may even find the perfect one still on the branch in December!
Wild persimmons are very nutritious.
They contain more vitamin C, potassium, iron and calcium than the more familiar, cultivated Asian persimmon.
Scientific analysis often demonstrates that wild varieties of food are more nutrient-dense, with higher levels of antioxidants as well.
Eat out-of-hand, or make persimmon pulp to use in recipes.
For pulp, separate the seeds using a food mill or a cone sieve with pestle.
Use the pulp in cakes, breads, smoothies, fruit leather, etc.
Substitute wherever a sweet fruit pulp is called for, as in banana bread.
Persimmon pulp freezes well for later use. Enjoy the goodness of wild persimmons year-round!