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Whole Gourmet Natural Cooking

Alison Anton's Natural Cooking Blog offers healthy recipes, inspirational food articles and culinary advice for the natural chef, and features dessert recipes from her upcoming cookbook, Desserts for Every Body.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Persimmons and Persimmon Recipes

This decorative orange fruit brings a brilliance to holiday tables everywhere. But that's not the best thing about them. When mature, "their flavor is a blend of apricots, plums, pumpkin and honey", says my friend Rebecca Wood from The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. The taste is almost indescribably succulent.

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An unripe persimmon, though, can be an awful experience. The enzymes are so astringent that they make the fruit extremely chalky and puckery to the mouth. To get the most out of the experience, have patience and wait to eat them until they are perfectly ripe.

How can you tell if a persimmon is ready to eat? First of all, there are two main types of persimmons; each have a very different consistency and have their own tell-tale signs of ripeness:

Hachiya Persimmons have a slightly pointed shape and resemble a large orange acorn. This type needs to be absolutely soft to the touch, almost to the point where you think they might be going rotten. Once ripe, Hachiyas are very fragile and should be used immediately. Hachiyas can be eaten right there on the spot or pureed into baked goods, sauces and puddings.

Fuyu Persimmons are smaller and flatter and look like small, orange tomatoes. These are non-astrigent and stay firm to the touch, almost hard, when ripe.
Fuyus are wonderful sliced and eaten like apples, diced into green salads, or tossed into winter fruit salads.

Persimmons of all varieties are good sources of vitamins A and C, and are high in potassium, a mineral-electrolyte necessary for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles.

Persimmon Recipes:

Warming Winter Fruit Salad - Bauman College
This sweet and sour fruit salad brings inspiration after the farmers' market has closed for the season....

Flaming Persimmon Pudding
Wow your family and friends with a show of pyro-technics at your holiday party this year! Okay... It's just a little flaming rum...


At 6:15 PM , Blogger Anna said...

Persimmons are one of my favorite fruits! Thanks a lot for posting this! :)


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