I was obsessed after my first ever bite of persimmon. It happened yesterday morning. Before that first taste, I had no idea. They aren't commonly available in grocery stores here, and, though persimmon trees grow in the South, I've never known anyone who grew one. But all of that changed after I tasted a sample slice of Fuyu persimmon.
Fuyu persimmons are deliciously sweet. I've analyzed my taste buds and twisted my mind trying to describe the taste. A bit like cantaloupe, combined with peachy, pear flavors. Maybe pumpkin? Unique, for sure! I can understand why the ancient Greeks called persimmon "the fruit of the gods". I bought a basket of Fuyu persimmons, and within a couple of hours I had bought a tree, too!
I've learned there are two kinds of persimmons: astringent and non astringent. The astringent varieties have to be eaten when fully ripe, when the fruit is soft and the interior has a jelly-like consistency. The non astringent varieties, including Fuyu, can be eaten when the fruit has a firm texture as well as when it has softened. My Fuyus are still firm, like an apple. I will have to wait to see if I like them as much once they have softened.
Fuyus can keep at room temperature for several weeks when they are firm. Once they have softened, however, they need to be eaten within a few days. They are very high in Vitamins A and C and are a good source of potassium too.
Fuyu persimmons are beautiful and combined with greenery make great holiday decorations. They are shaped like tomatoes, but they also remind me of little pumpkins. Here's a photo of my basket of Fuyus (missing one I already ate!) and below is a slice showing the pretty interior pattern:The tree will hold its fruit in late autumn, after all its leaves are gone, and a tree laden with the orange globes is an amazing sight. I wonder if my tree someday will be as lovely as this tree in Nakagawa, Nanyo City, Japan:Growing in popularity, persimmon trees are a low maintenance fruit tree. They need no spraying and little fertilizer, though they do like a fair amount of water. Fuyus will grow in zones 7-9, but different varieties may be found for zone 5, up to zone 10.
By the way, wildlife likes this fruit as much as humans. My tree is large enough to produce persimmons next year. The squirrels and other critters had better leave some for me, or else there will be a battle coming!