Persimmon comes from East Asia. It has a yellowish/golden color, roundish or oval shape, and has a lot of flavor. It has a lot of healthy and beneficial nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants and more.
Its scientific name is diospyros virginiana and it originated from China, before spreading to Korea and Japan hundreds of years ago. It only came to California in the mid-19th century.
They can have multiple trunks or a lone stem. They can reach twenty-five feet in height. They flourish in moderate winter and mild summer places.
The persimmon trees are divided into two kinds: those that have astringent persimmons (before ripening) and those that have non-astringent persimmon. Astringent ones are common in Japan. It has a lot of tannins, and should not be touched until it’s fully ripe. When it has the consistency of jelly, then it can be consumed. Non-astringent fruits however, can be consumed while it has the consistency of apples. If you treat persimmons with carbon dioxide or alcohol, you can take away its astringency.
Every season, the trees bear several fruits with many different shapes, sizes, weights, and color shades. Persimmons can be consumed entirely save for the seeds and calyxes.
Some types of astringent persimmons: eureka, hachiya, saijo.
Some types of none-astringent persimmons: fuyu, izu, jiro.
There are many more though.
Persimmons’ health benefits
- It’s a bit high in calories, around seventy per one hundred grams, but it is very low in fat content. The flesh itself has a lot of fiber. In fact, for every hundred grams of persimmon, there is more than 3.5 grams or almost ten percent of the soluble and insoluble fiber that we recommend on a daily basis.
- It has antioxidants and a compound that works against the development of tumors. It also has qualities that help the body fight infection, inflammation and hemorrhages.
- Some of the antioxidants in persimmons can help delay the aging process as well as the development and effects of numerous diseases.
- It also has carotenoids that are very good for protecting the eyes against some of the effects of aging.
- It has a lot of vitamin C, which when taken regularly, can provide protection against infection and inflammation.
- It has a lot of great B-complex vitamins which aid in many of our metabolic enzymatic functions.
- Fresh and dry fruits have a lot of minerals that can help protect the body against free radicals, and produce enzymes as well as red blood cells.
How to select, and how to store
Astringent persimmons can be taken when they are hard (matured). Non-astringent persimmons can be harvested when they reach fullest color and are slightly soft.
The astringent kind can reach maturity at room temp.
Both types ought to be harvested from their trees with pruning shears, keeping the calyx intact. Also be careful of bruising the fruit. But if it will be used to dry, no need to keep the calyx intact.
In fruit stores, where persimmons are sold, choose the ones that are bright yellow-orange with not bruising or cuts. The fruits that are dried are also found in grocery stores and your nearest supermarkets. They are very similar to dried apricots.
You can store the mature, hard astringent ones in your fridge for a couple of months. The non-astringent ones however, can only last a couple of days at room temp.