Persimmons: "Food for the Gods"

Persimmons: "Food for the Gods"

There are two main categories of persimmons and many varieties. The two categories are astringent fruit and non-astringent fruit. The variety we have in the Franklin Permaculture Garden is the American Persimmon, which is an astringent fruit and locally grown. The American Persimmon has a similar taste to mango and a texture like an apricot.

(A Ripe Astringent Persimmon)

You may come across many non astringent persimmons in supermarkets. These take the shape of a pumpkin. The non-astringment persimmon can be eaten while firm and still orange in color. They also must be peeled. Some non astringent varieties include fuyu, jiro, gosho, imoto, and sugura.

Astringent persimmons, which has the shape of an acorn must go through a period of bletting, which increases sugars. Bletting is when the fruit goes just past the stage of ripening, almost to the point of decay but still before ferment. Be sure to remember that this does not mean that the fruit is rotten. Astringent persimmons must be on the ground, or easily shaken from the tree. When ready to be eaten, make sure you take off the brown calyx, which is the top of the fruit. So when you eat a persimmon, make sure they are mushy and you can see through the skin. The color will be more of a purple-orange instead of a gorgeous reddish-orange. It should look like the persimmon pictured above.

A medium size persimmon gives you:

  • Dietary soluble fiber  (Can lower blood sugar levels and lowers your risk for heart disease)
  • Excellent source of the anti-oxidant Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and the mineral manganese.
  • A good source of Vitamin B6 and Potassium.

A recipe for astringent persimmons-Persimmon Fruit Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 2 American persimmons pulp
  • 1 cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1 cup apple, cut up
  • 2 oranges, peeled and split up
  • ¼ cantalope cubed

This is an easy to make snack good for anytime. Serves two.

A recipe for non-astringent persimmons:

Kale, Avocado, and Fuyu Persimmon Salad

  • One bunch of kale
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 heaping Tbs. of 0% Fat greek yogurt
  • 1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 fuyu persimmon
  • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ pecans

Steps: 

1. Remove the stems from the kale leaves and slice the remaining leaves thinly.  Put in a bowl and toss with 1 Tbs. lemon juice. You may let it sit 30 minutes if you want the kale to soften up.

2. Whisk together the remaining lemon juice, the olive oil, yogurt, garlic, mustard, and honey. This will be your dressing.

3. After you’ve allowed the kale to sit for about 30 minutes, toss it with the dressing.  Then, gently toss in the chopped avocado, persimmon, walnuts, blue cheese crumbs, walnut, and pecans.

4. Serves 4. 

By: Andrew Mack

UMass Permaculture Initiative Student Intern

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Author Name: 
Andrew Mack
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