Persimmon fruit and vegetables
The season of persimmons.
Persimmons are in season between November and February.
Persimmons are high in beta carotine and minerals such as sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron, and studies have found that they also contain twice as much dietary fibre per 100g as apples, plus more of the phenolic compounds thought to ward off heart disease.
For good eating, a very firm Fuyu persimmon may need to be put aside for just a day or two.
An unripe Hachiya, packed with mouth-puckering tannins, will probably need more time to soften and lose its astringency.
There is still some controversy as to the best way to ripen these fruits.
You can leave persimmons at room temperature in a paper bag along with an apple, which will produce additional ethylene gas (to hasten the ripening), and turn the fruit occasionally for even ripening.
For Hachiya persimmons, however, the process may take a number of weeks.
Another approach for Hachiya persimmons a modified version of a technique Japanese shippers use incorporates two ripening principles: When the oxygen supply is diminished, it causes the persimmons to produce aldehydes (which counteract the astringency of the tannins).
And, when persimmons are exposed to alcohol, it encourages the fruits to produce their own ethylene gas.
The kitchen adaptation of this technique is quite simple: Stand the fruits in a plastic food storage container, place a few drops of your favourite spirits (brandy or rum, for instance) on each of the leaflike sepals, then cover the container tightly.
Fruit treated in this manner may ripen in less than a week. (Note: As the fruits lose their astringency, they will also soften considerably, so don't expect to be able to slice them.)
- Persimmon & membrillo galette | BBC Good Food