What is a persimmon fruit? What does it taste like? Keep reading and this guide will answer all of your questions.
Persimmon fruit is widely cultivated in Asia and grows in the United States as well. It comes in various colors ranging from dark red-orange to light yellow. Also, it comes in two shapes; rounded or pumpkin-like.
The Asian persimmon comes in two types as well; the Hachiya and Fuyu. The Hachiya type is stringent and can be eaten while still in the firm, while the Fuyu type is shaped like a tomato and must ripen before it is eaten.
The American persimmon is extremely stringent and can be found in many parts of the United States, starting from the Gulf coast to Ozarks.
The fruit has plenty of nutrients that include phosphorus, magnesium, and folate. Riboflavin and thiamin. It is ideal for weight management since it contains very low calories. It has superb antioxidant qualities and is high in fibers. Also, persimmon is a source of flavonoid antioxidants, so it helps prevent heart diseases.
According to Four Winds persimmon, the fruit is rich in vitamin A, and so when you eat one persimmon, you will have ingested 55 percent of recommended Vitamin A intake. Vitamin A supports the function of the conjunctival membrane and the overall health of your eyes.
When you get it from the market, look for blemish-free and smooth fruits. Try to squeeze it a bit to see if it gives in. Of course, you can buy it before it ripens and give it a few days to ripen. When picked while stringent, it takes some time before it ripens. Unfortunately, raccoons and deers eat the fruit when it is still bitter.
So you may be forced to pick it before it ripens and keep it at room temperature until when it is soft. But you can accelerate the rate at which it ripens by storing it in a plastic bag containing apples. Apples release ethylene gas which speeds up the rate at which the fruit ripens.
Where It Grows
The American persimmon grows in many places starting from south texas to Iowa. It also grows from Connecticut to Florida. But it can survive in areas where temperatures are as low as -25 degrees.
Native Americans and early explorers ate the fruit during winter and used the wood to make a gold club. It resembles alligator skin and can make billiard cues, veneers and floors.
Also, persimmons can grow in many parts of Asia by planting seeds, suckers, cuttings and grafts. The grafting or budding of the plant on trees gives the best quality.
The tree grows up to 25 feet and has obviate leaves that are shiny at the top. Its flowers may be yellowish and whitish. Fuyu is round in shape and is mostly cultivated in Japan. It can be pollinated manually using pollen from the variety of trees that bear the male flowers. When pollinated in this manner, it enhances the quality of fruits.
If the plant is not fertilized, it produces seedless fruits. In some cases, the fruit will drop prematurely. You may eat the fruit fresh or dry and store it for future use.
If you choose to plant the seeds, they should be sown 3 inches deep in the nursery and later transplanted in a plastic planting bag. The fruit grows best in loamy soils with a pH of 6.0-6.5. It is also grown in Hawaii at 2000 feet above the sea level, however, you can also grow it in cool locations that receive 30 inches of rainfall.
When transplanting the seedlings, ensure the average spacing is between 15 to 20 ft. depending on the soil fertility. You can also grow them closer to each other and thin them after 5 years. When transplanting, you must take care since the plant’s roots are fragile and can easily get damaged or dry off if they are not handled with care.
Pruning may be done to remove the diseased, crossover or broken branches. Also, pruning removes the weak branches and opens the canopy. In addition, it can be done to reduce excessive shoot growth and reduce crop load.
Once the fruit is harvested, it can be refrigerated to prolong its life. However, you should only do this after softening. If you want to store it for a longer period, peel it and freeze it. You can then store it in plastic bags.
What It Tastes Like
A ripe persimmon tastes sweet. It has a honey-like flavor, but it is rich and mild. However, you will find it unpleasant if you bite the unripe fruit. It contains a high amount of tannins, and so it doesn’t taste very pleasant. Also, it can make your mouth go dry and pucker.