Once fully ripened, persimmons' flesh softens to a satiny jelly. It is wonderfully textured and both taste and scent are delightfully rich and aromatic without being overpowering.
How to Select
Take home only those that are universally firm and have no skin blemishes. Traditional varieties are typically somewhat heart-shaped while the newer firm-eating variety are more like squat tomatoes.
How to Store
If stored chilled persimmons keep well. When you want to ripen the fruit, put them on a plate on a warm window ledge. You can speed up the ripening process by putting them into a brown paper bag with a few bananas or apples.
How to Prepare
Persimmons are rarely cooked. They can be added to a dish like an apple pie for interest, but the flavour tends to diminish with heating. Persimmons are best enjoyed lightly chilled and eaten from the hand or with a spoon if they have developed their full jelly potential. The skin is edible but not usually eaten. Add to yoghurt, fruit salad, or serve with ice cream for a welcome change of colour, texture and flavour. Firmer types of persimmon make a wonderful and colourful addition sliced or cubed into salads and make an inventive sliced topping for cakes or pushed into muffins before baking - rose or orange-flower water and such spices as cinnamon or cardamon are great flavour enhancers.