Fuyu Persimmons

It’s November and persimmons abound. One can see them hanging like Christmas tree ornaments from trees here and there around our neighborhood. There are two varieties; pictured here are Fuyu persimmons – short and squat, shaped very much like tomatoes. The other variety is the Hachiya, more acorn shaped. Hachiya persimmons are used for making dishes like persimmon cookies or persimmon pudding cake and are eaten only when liquidy ripe. But what to do with the Fuyus?

Fuyu persimmons, unlike the Hachiyas, are eaten much like apples. Peel them, slice them, eat them.

fuyu-persimmon-pieces.jpg

During my many trips to Japan I have often been served Fuyu persimmons this time of year. Always, they were presented this way, already peeled and sliced, and served with little toothpicks in each piece. I was told by one friend who grew up with a Fuyu tree in his yard that the best time to pick them was under a full moon. When you did that, the persimmon flesh would be freckled with tiny pinprick brown specs, which gave the fruit more sweetness and flavor. My friend was somewhat embarrassed by this admission; being the educated, rational man he was, could find no explanation for this phenomenon, but insisted that he had experimented for years with his own tree and that what he said was true.

These particular persimmons came by way of a wonderful gift from a fellow blogger. Turns out that the lovely Andrea of Rookie Cookery and Pumpkin Persimmon Parfait fame, lives about a mile away from me. We met for tea and a gabfest one day last week and exchanged lots of garden goodies. I scored big with a huge bag of these Fuyu persimmons (in addition to some delicious pumpkin parfait). Yum, and thank you Andrea!

28 Comments

  1. santos.

    hello elise! i have been wondering what to do with fuyu persimmons myself. the recipes i’ve found that i’m attracted to are all japanese–they don’t mask the flavour or texture of the fuyu, unlike the few western recipes i’ve come across. i’m actually working on two japanese recipes right now, so hopefully they’ll turn out well.

  2. duncan booth

    hi there

    came across this on my new personalized google homepage

    i’m a chef and i just wanted to say that in my personal experience, make sure your persimmons are really ripe before you try to eat them.

    if they aren’t ripe, they have a very tannic, astringent quality which feels like they very quickly and intensely dry the mouth and tongue

    when they are nice and ripe they are excellent though

    i just don’t want anyone to get put off of them the way i was!

    cheers

    duncan

    • Carrie

      This is not true of FUYU Persimmons which even if not quite ripe are firm and sweet!

  3. Kalyn

    How fun to share time with a fellow blogger. I haven’t yet come across any other food bloggers in Utah. I keep thinking there must be someone, but so far the closest person I have seen is in Idaho. Thanks for the information on persimmons. I noticed them in the ad for my favorite market and was thinking of getting some since I’ve never eaten them.

  4. Ladylivewire

    Cool. I’m going to a farm to pick some Fuyu Persimmons tomorrow, and I am super excited! I’ve never tasted them before, and I am really looking forward to it.

  5. Ellen

    I’ve got a tree full of the Fuyus and have searched for things to do other than eat them (minus the toothpicks) peeled and sliced. I did have some added in a salad once and that was quite nice. My great aunt used to take the Hachiyas and freeze them, then slice them in half and eat with a spoon, like ice cream.

  6. Marc Kelley

    This is for Duncan. You must have eaten an Hachiya persimmon before it was fully ripe (very soft) to have experienced the astringent quality of the fruit. That’s why these are mainly used in cooking cookies or puddings. The Fuyu persimmons can be eaten when fully colored but still very firm and you won’t get that astringent flavor, just sweet, crunchy goodness.

  7. Joel

    Regarding the comment of Duncan a few lines up, I just wanted to point out that Fuyu persimmons are edible essentially off the tree, and don’t have to be terribly ripened beforehand. Hachiya persimmons are the type of persimmon that is tannic before they are ripe and very fleshy…they are more elongated looking and usually a deeper reddish-orange. Fuyus look more like like squished (flat) orangish tomatoes, and taste similar to apples with a hint of cinnamon even when they crisp and not fleshy-ripe (I actually eat them like apples). Hachiyas are probably better for recipes involving pulp and a more easily incorporated persimmon flavor, although Fuyus turn pulpy over time as well. Hope this helps.

  8. Andrea

    Hi Elise! What gorgeous pictures of the persimmons! I’m really glad you reminded me about picking them at the full moon.. I will most definately do so from now on.

    To the person who remarked on the astringent quality of the unripe persimmons: Those were undoubtedly the Hachiya type. The Fuyus are not astringent or soft-fleshed like the Hachiyas (unless very over-ripe) and are known as the “Asian apple” because their texture and use is much like the apple, as Elise said. I baked an apple-Fuyu pie last year that was delicious! This year I will try one that is all Fuyu.

    But first I will bake a pie with the beautiful Granny Smith apples Elise brought me. :)

    cheerio;
    Andrea

    • Carrie

      Andrea, did you use the FUYU persimmons to mix with apples in a pie? Did you just slice them the same size as the apples and intermix them? Have tons of fuyus and have given away tons. Would love to try a pie with them, even mixed with apples.

      • Elise

        I’ll answer for Andrea because I know for a fact that she has a Fuyu persimmon tree. You can use fuyus much the same way you can use apples.

  9. eljae

    Thank you for this entry. I sampled a Hachiya persimmon the other day without realizing that I must wait until it was “pudding-like,” and had the unfortunate experience Duncan had. I found myself standing at the kitchen faucet scooping water into my mouth with my hand as quickly as I could. The astringent quality was so intense I had no desire to take the time to find a cup! The experience caused me to pass by some very pretty Fuyu persimmons in the market two days ago. Now, I believe I will go back for some tomorrow. I would very much like to try a persimmon that doesn’t pucker my mouth and make me act like a cartoon character.

  10. Tracy

    Just yesterday my husband and I walked by a display of persimmons in the grocery store and wondered how/why people eat them – and lo and behold, you’ve satisfied our curiousity. Thanks! Now I have to go try one…

  11. don DiCiero

    Here in Norfolk, VA our season runs late. Thanks for the tip on when to pick them. I used to get native persimmons at a golf course after frost and they where very sweet, with out the puker. This is the first year I have an abundance of fruit and anxious to try some of the recipies. Don DiCiero

  12. sherry

    as for the very tannic, astringent quality that everybody is talking about – you can get rid of it. My japanese friends tell me that you put a bit of alcohol (ethanol?) at the crown of the persimmons, tie them all up in a plastic bag, and leave it alone for a week. After that, they should be sweet and good to go with no problems. I haven’t tried it yet, so i don’t know if it works… but they all claim it to be the magical solution~! Hope this helps…

  13. Anonymous

    Thanks for the help. I got a huge box of around 20 persimmons from my father-in-law and had no idea what to do with them. I stashed them in a special food storing plastic bag and left them in the refridgerator for weeks. Before I did that, I had sampled one and found it unripe and untasty. Now, just a few minutes ago, I took out the bag and tried one . . . whoa, the texture and taste was heavenly! I Immediately looked up recipies, and was disappointed to find almost none. So far, I get the pudding, the fuyi-apple pie, the salad ideas, and the plain sliced toothpicked appetizer. One problem I have is finding out that persimmons are supposed to be stored in a cool, dark place which would last them 2 to 4 months. Perhaps mine would spoil fast since I got them moist from the refridgerator?

  14. Jax

    I’ve loved Fuyus for years. I eat them like apples & have never seen any recipies for them. That’s how I ended up here. The one thing I do with the ones that have gotten over ripe is dehydrate them. They are great dried.

  15. stella

    Does anyone know how to dehydrate fuyu? I love them but I have too many to eat and would like to save some for later days.
    Thanks.

  16. crystal

    I have lived with a persimmon tree on my property for over 27 years, this year was my first eating them and cooking with them. I love this fruit. Its great in salads and im baking cookies today..

  17. lori

    How do store persimmions for later use? I have Fuyu. Can I freeze or can? This my first time, we just picked them yesterday.

    Hi Lori, Fuyu persimmons are a lot like apples, and meant to be eaten that way too. I’m familiar with freezing the ripe pulp of Hachiya persimmons, but don’t know about preserving the Fuyu. You could try peeling one, cutting up the flesh into cubes, and freezing them, and defrosting, just to see how that works and if freezing affects the taste/texture. ~Elise

  18. stacey mcneill

    I’ve enjoyed Fuyus from my tree for a couple years now, and it’s an extremely versatile fruit. Great in green salads, especially with dried cranberries, blue cheese and nuts with a balsamic dressing. Yum! I also enjoy them sauteed with pork tenderloin or chicken and seasoned with rosemary and thyme. They make a unique, delicious appetizer sliced, spread with soft blue cheese and topped with a pecan. AND I’ve had great success grating them and using them instead of carrots in breads and cakes. ENJOY!

  19. Sandy

    I too have received the Fuyus in cases from a neighbor farmer who raises them to sell and gives away his abundant crop. I have a modern dehydrator that I bought from a small hardware store (less than $50), which has layers of plastic trays and the bottom having an electric heat coil. I slice the ends off of the Fuyu persimmons, peel them, then slice them into about 1/4 inch slices. I let them dry at least 24 hours, rotating the trays every 4-5 hours. Once the slices are dry and not sticky, I remove them and put them into sealed plastic bags. These are great for snacks.

  20. Tirzah

    I was introduced to Hachiya persimmons many years ago by a vender on the side of the road. He gaved me copies of recipes and also explained that if you freeze them for at least 24 hours, all the pucker-factor is removed. The only problem with doing that is the flavor is very mild if they aren’t ripened to mush! In recent years, I have been introduced to the Fuyu type and am now addicted! I even planted a fuyu tree in my yard. Forget the peeling and slicing! I eat them peel and all just like an apple. Also, this year, I ate some in September before they were fully ripe. They were still sweet and delicious, just not as juicy. I came to this site trying to replace my lost recipes! Thanks for all the tips and comments.

  21. Kimberly

    Hello,
    I am very new to persimmons of any kind. I was reading an article in Rachael Ray’s magazine and someone made a spagetti sauce with persimmons. If I froze the Hachiya for over 24 hrs and tried to make a sauce. Would it work? My family has an allergy to Nightshades ( tomato, potatoe ect.) I was just curious what your thoughts would be? Thank you for an infomative blog. I can’t wait for my children to try the FUYU.

    No idea, but if you try it, please let us know how it works for you. ~Elise

  22. Rebecca Lamp

    For those of you who are interested in freezing Fuyu presimmons, they feeze well as a pulp. I then use the pulp in muffins and cookies out of season.

  23. Susan

    Two things! I have been massaging persimmons ( 5 Hachiya persimmons) for a few weeks in an effort to replicate the Japanese method.. Not a lot of intel about technique, but the very idea of massaging them, seems to imbue them with good wishes and love like any other hand “made” food. So far so good. I think I willl try the traditional western dehydrator also.
    Secondly, to Kimberley, march 2k11, I have poached figs also as an alternative in pasta sauce, just sweat them in a bit of olive oil shallot and garlic and some sweet marjoram, delish…garnished with chevre or not…

  24. Linda Martinez

    THe persimmons ripen by putting them in the freezer overnight, the next morning you take them out of the freezer let them thaw out and they are perfect. Someone at the senior center donated a whole case of them…I quickly told everyone that there were two kinds..One is like an apple, however the pearshaped kind don’t even try them unless you are hanging your head over the sink( i have tried this method of ripening them, and it works great)

  25. lynn

    Do I have to wait for the fuyu persimmons to be ripe before I can make cookies?

    Fuyu persimmons are the kind that you can just eat, like an apple. You don’t usually bake with them. The hachiyas are the kind you typically bake with, and those you must wait to ripen completely, when they are soft and the insides are gooey. ~Elise

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