Persimmon Toast

My husband first encountered a persimmon during his first visit to my family home. My stepfather handed it to him and simply said, “Just eat it like an apple.”  For some strange reason, my stepfather prefers persimmons unripe and hard. But my husband wasn’t convinced, as the hard flesh was unyielding and his mouth felt coated with sticky cotton.  It took him a few hours to get rid of the bitter, tannic sensation. The same willingness to please his new in-laws also left my husband unable to refuse yet another shot of vodka, but the consequences of that lasted into the next day. Imagine his surprise when he finally tried a ripe persimmon and discovered that it was a juicy fruit with a delicate perfume.

persimmons-market-japanpersimmon toast2a

There are thousands varieties of persimmons, but Fuyu and Hachiya are the most common ones. Fuyu (top left photo) looks like a squat orange tomato, and it can be eaten when it’s hard. It’s sweet and crunchy, with a distinctive flavor of dates and plums. The Hachiya variety (in the photos below) is pointy and elongated, and it’s the kind that tormented my poor husband. As he will tell you, when hard and unripe it tastes even worse than a green banana–bitter and chalky. But give it a few days to soften and it turns sweet and luscious.

Persimmons are starting to show up at the markets right now, and I can’t resist piling my basket with different varieties. Fuyu is delicious eaten on its own or sliced into salads for a hint of sweetness and crunch. Brightly colored Hachiya persimmons decorate my living room coffee table until they ripen enough to be eaten with a spoon. They’re jammy and sweet, a perfect snack or accompaniment to Greek yogurt.

persimmon toast1

If I have a ripe persimmon and a loaf of bread at home, I make my favorite breakfast treat–persimmon toast. I first tried it in Japan during a visit in late fall when persimmons graced all the market stalls. My friend toasted thick slices of perfectly square bread and slathered them with ripe persimmon pulp. It couldn’t be simpler, and yet the perfection of this breakfast served with a cup of green tea turned out to be one of my Japanese highlights.

Since then I have tried all sorts of variations on persimmon toast–with maple syrup and walnuts, with goat cheese and honey, and even with prosciutto, but this is really a case where it’s not worth gilding the lily. Bread, butter and persimmon are an ideal combination. You only need add a steaming beverage to start your day on the right note.

Ripe Hachiya persimmons should be refrigerated or frozen. You can also speed up the ripening processing by freezing the half-ripened persimmons overnight. Defrost completely and enjoy their jammy, sticky sweetness. It’s one of the universe’s blessings during the cold, rainy days of autumn.

persimmon toast2

Persimmon Toast

It’s so simple that I probably need not even write a recipe, but here it goes: toast slices of bread and butter them. Peel and mash ripe persimmons and spread the jammy fruit over bread. Eat immediately.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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88 Comments

  • Mary Edington: Absolutely adore Hachiya persimmons. Thanks for the tip about freezing ripe ones to speed up final ripening. October 16, 2013 at 7:26am Reply

    • Victoria: It works so well, I wish I had a bigger freezer. You can even freeze them in season and then keep them frozen for a few months. October 16, 2013 at 9:22am Reply

  • FearsMice: What a great idea! I’ve always preferred Fuyus because they’re crunchy, but a soft Hachiya spread on buttered toast sounds luscious… October 16, 2013 at 7:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m a big fan of Fuyu myself, but the discovery that Hachiya can be used a spread made me fall in love with them anew. October 16, 2013 at 9:23am Reply

  • rosarita: Don’t we live in a wonderful world? Endless variety! I’ve never tasted persimmon. Like so many of your posts, now I want to find some. That peanut butter – like spread with the ginger cookie bits (from a couple weeks ago) haunts my dreams :) Persimmon toast sounds delicious. October 16, 2013 at 8:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you can find both persimmons and the spread. Persimmons have a delicate taste, and the texture is fantastic. Fuyus are super crunchy, while Hachiyas are jelly-like. Not sure if you have any Asian stores in your area, but they usually have persimmons around this time. The season lasts well through the winter. October 16, 2013 at 9:26am Reply

    • Lindaloo: Rosarita, if you are in the US you can find the speculoos spread at Trader Joe’s. Perhaps now we will need food “mules” as well as perfume mules. October 16, 2013 at 1:42pm Reply

      • rosarita: Thanks so much! My best friend lives in a city with a Trader Joes, I see some shopping ahead. October 16, 2013 at 6:44pm Reply

  • maja: Oh, what a wonderful world! :) I love persimmons and was taught by my late Italian mother-in-law to give them time to become exquisitely ripe. We would buy each other persimmons during their season and I can’t eat them today without thinking of her…
    I also made Kim Boyce’s persimmon dark chocolat muffins last year and they were really good. But the fresh ones are hard to beat! I will try them with butter very soon. :) Thank you. October 16, 2013 at 8:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Persimmon dark chocolate muffins sound decadent. But do you taste anything of persimmon? I imagine that it might give a very moist texture. A few years ago I made a persimmon pudding, which was very good. It was a recipe by Harold McGee in the New York Times. If I have a glut of persimmons on hand this year, I might try it again. October 16, 2013 at 9:28am Reply

      • maja: Yes, they are moist and chocolate flavour obviously prevails. But those orange flecks in the middle are truly a scene :) October 16, 2013 at 2:24pm Reply

        • Victoria: Reminds me that brown and orange go together perfectly. Nature is the best color coordinator. :) October 16, 2013 at 2:50pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Yum! Persimmon toast sounds like a great idea and I’ll try it since it requires minimal effort. I enjoyed the story about your husband. Poor him… :-) I love both kinds and I really miss Korean persimmons although I can get some here in Germany. I used to eat slightly frozen ripe Hachiya persimmons like ice cream (I should ask my mum to buy some and freeze them so that I can have them when I go home in December). For me, the best part is the jelly-like bits inside. Dried persimmons are also great treats to have during the winter. October 16, 2013 at 8:33am Reply

    • Victoria: The persimmon orchards in late fall look the scenes from Chinese silk paintings. Whenever I see persimmons at the market, I can’t resist buying a few more, even if I already have some at home. I can resist shoes and clothes (and even perfume), but before beautiful produce, I’m helpless. :)

      In Korea I also bought some persimmon leaf tea. Now, it’s so good, I’m already sad anticipating the day I will run out of it. It tastes of almonds and hay (a bit like tonka bean), and it’s also a bit nutty. The lady who sold it to me was explaining that it was good for my health and my skin. Have you heard of/tried it? October 16, 2013 at 9:34am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: You got to love the striking deep, orange colour of persimmons! We often have some persimmon fruits hanging from trees even during the winter because it’s a tradition for people to leave a few during the harvest so that birds can feed on them.

        Wow, you keep surprising me with your knowledge on Korea! How many times have you visited it? I’ve heard about the persimmon leaf tea and I may have had it before but I don’t remember the taste so well. But your description is so appealing that I’ll have to try it during my next visit. It’s supposed to be really high in Vitamin C and that’s why it’s good for your health and skin. I’m more than happy to buy some and send them to you (as I said, I’m going back in December) so please let me know if you want to stock up. October 16, 2013 at 4:24pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’m just very interested in anything that has to do with scents, tastes, and history, and some of the most interesting places to study this are in the East. In Ukraine, there was a small Korean community (there is even such a concept as a Russian Korean), so I grew up eating kimchi, or rather the kimchi style pickles they made with the local ingredients–white cabbage and carrots. Even my grandmother makes “Korean carrot salad” on regular basis. If you go to any Russian store in Russia or abroad, a tub of “Korean carrots” will inevitably be behind the counter. One of my first very close friends in the US was Korean, so it was another way to get to know the foods and traditions better. For this reason, I have a very soft spot for Korea, although I find all of the Asian countries fascinating. So far I visited only once, but I really hope to return again.

          Anne, thank you so much! I will send you a note later. October 17, 2013 at 8:06am Reply

  • Zazie: Must try!
    Never thought of mashing the pulp and using it like a spread: sounds lovely!
    I love these orange autumnal treats: like pumpkins and chestnuts, they always put a smile on my face.
    For those interested, here’s a tip to drive your unripe persimmons to the perfect ripeness: store them in a cool and dark place with a few apples.
    Apples naturally produce ethilene, which helps maturation. For some strange reason, they also help preserving the fruit – up to a certain point. You’ll get less of those unripe today, rotten tomorrow surprises.
    (My grandfather tells me that also potatoes were stored with a few apples in his day, to keep everything ok… I wonder if there is some science behind it or just some sort of superstitious tradition).
    Anyway. I love fall. October 16, 2013 at 8:42am Reply

    • Victoria: What a great tip! Thank you. It reminded me that my grandmother also stores potatoes in the same cellar as apples. I should ask her about it, although most of her answers to such questions are usually along the lines of “my mother used to do it this way.” :)

      I’ll be sure to put a couple of apples in my persimmon bowl once I get home. October 16, 2013 at 9:36am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: That is fascinating, Victoria. We had persimmons on our farm but I was always warned not to touch them because they were so bitter and sour when unripe. No one ate them or cooked with them. They grew wild on the farm. Our cattle liked them so we just considered them food for birds, squirrels and the cattle. Seems like I missed out. I’ll try some from the grocery and let them get nice and ripe. October 16, 2013 at 9:37am Reply

    • Victoria: The wild ones are so delicious, Ricky! Your story reminds me that when I lived in North Carolina, people reacted with horror when I asked about eating wild persimmons. I tried them anyway and they tasted like juicy dates. They really should be perfectly soft. October 16, 2013 at 11:42am Reply

  • Portia: Hi Victoria,
    Do you ever salt the Persimmon Toast, just a little?
    Portia xx October 16, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t, because the bread is salty and I might use salted butter, but it would be a terrific touch. A touch of salt always makes fruit taste even sweeter.

      I salt my grapefruit though. October 16, 2013 at 11:43am Reply

  • Annikky: I’m a big fan of persimmons, both the color and taste are wonderful. One of the best ideas I’ve ever had (although this isn’t saying much…) was to serve home made hummus, lamb mince fried with ras-el-hanout and pieces of persimmon, to be eaten together. It really is delicious, even if I say so myself. I also like it with avocado, rucola and fig vinegar.

    Serving it on toast is new for me, however. I happen to have one Hachiya at home and I think I’ll make both persimmon and avocado toast tomorrow – it’ll be a beautiful duo. Thank you for a lovely idea! October 16, 2013 at 9:50am Reply

    • Jillie: Annikky – that lamb combo sounds amazing and so exotic! I will have a go at it this weekend. October 16, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

      • Annikky: Oh, I hope you like it (I’m now quite nervous…)! I think it works well, because it combines not just different tastes, but textures: soft, tangy-garlicky hummus (my hummus tends to be heavy on garlic and lemon and light on tahini); crumbly salty-spicy lamb and sweet, juicy persimmon that is somewhere between firm and jelly-like. October 16, 2013 at 3:49pm Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: Sounds absolutely delectable, Annikky! October 16, 2013 at 4:28pm Reply

    • Zazie: Sounds tasty and unexpected!
      In Sicily they serve a savory persimmon sauce to accompany meat (pork I think): persimmons mashed with olive oil and salt (and pimento, if desired) – I’ve never tried it but you inspired me to taste this fruit in a savory context! October 16, 2013 at 11:13am Reply

      • Victoria: Another recipe idea I’m jotting down in my little notebook. By pimento, do you mean chili pepper or allspice? October 16, 2013 at 12:14pm Reply

        • Zazie: Ops, I realise I misused the word pimento: I meant chili peppers, the very small red and hot ones. Sorry! October 17, 2013 at 3:18am Reply

      • Annikky: Thanks! I have a thing for meat with fruit (and fruit in savory dishes in general). Lamb with dates, beef with plums, pork with apricots, chicken with figs, salmon with mango…

        The sauce sounds absolutely great, too, must try. October 16, 2013 at 3:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you like it. I’m going to try the avocado toast tomorrow, since my avocados are finally ripe and soft.

      It’s getting close to dinner time, so the idea of meat topped hummus eaten with slices of persimmon made me ravenous. I love the combination of fruit and savory things, so I will definitely have to try it. October 16, 2013 at 11:47am Reply

  • Jillie: Well, I never knew there were different types of persimmons! Here in the UK we just have the ones that look like tomatoes. Like Maja, it took an Italian friend to let me into the secret of persimmons – you really have to let them get ripe to the point of rottenness, because it’s only then that they become so deliciously squelchy and perfumed.

    For some reason they are also called Sharon fruit here, and that used to confuse me. When I shop, I look for the ones that are marked down because they have gone soft and have passed their expiry date – because of course they are the best! October 16, 2013 at 9:51am Reply

    • Victoria: What a great idea to look at the discount bin for perfectly ripe persimmons. :) The tomato looking ones can also be eaten when they’re firm. The flavor will be more subtle, but the crunchy texture is super. They’re the non-astrigent varieties. The peel is tough, so I remove it, and then I slice them into salads. Annikky’s idea with avocado and arugula sounds great. I imagine that the creamy avocado and peppery arugula would be great with persimmons.

      Sharon fruit is just an Israeli cultivar, from what I was told at the grocery store. October 16, 2013 at 11:50am Reply

    • rainboweyes: Sharon fruit seems to be the persimmon variety grown in Israel, named after the Sharon Plain where they are cultivated. They are said to be very low in tannins. October 17, 2013 at 7:04am Reply

      • rainboweyes: Oops, just saw Victoria explained the name already! October 17, 2013 at 7:07am Reply

  • breathesgelatin: These aren’t persimmons to me! The wild indigenous American persimmons are what I think of as persimmons. And they are divine. When my daughter was two, she tried persimmon pudding for the first time (a true Southern American delicacy) and she declared it to be “happy cake.”

    Of course, you can’t buy American persimmons commercially. You just have to be lucky enough to live on a farm with some trees! October 16, 2013 at 9:52am Reply

    • Elena: Lol at happy cake! I didn’t realize that people really ate them in the US frequently, but I haven’t gotten to spend much time in the South. Here by Boston you usually find them at Asian markets or produce stalls. October 16, 2013 at 10:14am Reply

      • breathesgelatin: The Asian ones are sometimes sold in the south, too, but probably moreso in larger cities. People in the south – at least in rural North Carolina, where I grew up – live for persimmon season every fall! The indigenous American persimmons are smaller than the Asian varieties I’ve seen. You have to move quick to get them – they grow high on the trees and when they fall to the ground, they’re generally ready to eat. But you have to beat the possums to them! A few autumns my mom timed things poorly and found all the persimmons eaten by our possum friends. :)

        The American persimmons, when ripe, have very fragile skins, which may account for why they’re not commercially grown and sold. You typically take them home and mash them right away and make a pudding or freeze them. October 16, 2013 at 10:21am Reply

    • Annikky: Happy cake :)! Adorable. October 16, 2013 at 10:16am Reply

    • Victoria: How sweet! I can just imagine that this “happy cake” was also luscious. The wild American persimmons are delicious, as I’ve discovered when I lived in North Carolina. Very strange that most locals I’ve met thought that my eating then was a further evidence of my foreign eccentricity. They considered it food for the birds. The birds knew better, though, and the tree behind my house would be ravaged before I got a chance to get my fill of persimmons. October 16, 2013 at 11:56am Reply

      • breathesgelatin: Maybe persimmons are more appreciated by rural people? I always took them as a fact of life, in fact, families are very proud about their particular persimmon pudding recipes. I wonder if in rural/suburban areas these traditions have been lost, or that many people are new transplants and thus don’t know the traditions.

        When I’m home tonight, I’ll try to remember to post my family’s persimmon pudding recipe. October 16, 2013 at 12:03pm Reply

        • breathesgelatin: er, that should be urban/suburban areas. :) October 16, 2013 at 12:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, I would love it if you could share it! I’ll definitely make it. I love family recipes and especially the traditional ones. Yes, I have a feeling that the further people move away from the land (or from working on their land), the more some of these traditions fade away. In perfume industry, the situation is very similar when it comes to naturals. Many young people don’t want to work on narcissus or benzoin plantations and instead move to the cities. As a result, the rural communities fall apart and their craft disappears with them.

          I’m still glad that I was unperturbed by the weird looks and tried the American wild persimmons. What a treat that was! :) October 16, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

          • breathesgelatin: Sorry it took me a few days to type this up!

            2 cups persimmon pulp
            3 eggs (beaten)
            1 tsp salt
            1/2 tsp cinnamon
            1/2 tsp nutmeg
            1 tsp vanilla
            1 3/4 cup milk
            2 cups flour
            1/2 tsp baking soda
            1 1/2 cup sugar
            3 tbsp melted butter

            Mix persimmons, beaten eggs, and milk. Sift dry ingredients together and pour liquid mixture into them. (Be sure to get flour lumps out.) Stir in melted butter and vanilla. Pour into good sized pan that has been oiled (suggested 9×13 pyrex). Bake at 300 degrees for 48 to 60 minutes. (Toothpick test in center to test if it’s done.)

            This is sort of an English-style pudding. It will be solid, but have some give. I’ve had persimmon pudding that’s overcooked before – too dry. You don’t want that. After it’s cooled, you should refrigerate it. It’s good either warm or cold – I think most people prefer it warmed up in the microwave. At least, my parents do. I actually really love it served cold. We serve it with whipped cream. There also seems to be a general consensus that persimmon pudding gets better as it ages, after a day or two, as the flavors blend together. October 19, 2013 at 11:43pm Reply

            • Victoria: Thank you so much! It sounds heavenly, and after my one experience with Harold McGee’s persimmon pudding, I became a convert. Your recipe is even more interesting, though. October 21, 2013 at 8:15am Reply

          • breathesgelatin: I also thought I would provide my mother’s advice for preparing persimmon pulp. (This all comes from a cookbook she hand-wrote for me :)

            Preparing persimmons

            Pick persimmons that are soft, not mushy, and without blemish.

            Wash lightly. Use Foley food processor to prepare pulp. (It is messy!)

            Put processor on top of bowl and clean processor frequently while processing. October 19, 2013 at 11:51pm Reply

        • nikki: Amazing! I had no idea they grow in the USA! Persimmon Pudding sounds really delicious and I would also like the recipe….thank you! October 17, 2013 at 12:12am Reply

  • Elena: I also spent some time in Japan, and persimmons in fall are on my incredibly long list of things I miss. (Not on the list: that ubiquitous spongy rectangular white bread. For a culture that cares so deeply about food, you’d think some better breads would be more popular. It does toast nicely, though.) That incredible color just perfectly complements the leaves at this time of year. How can you be unhappy starting your morning so beautifully? October 16, 2013 at 10:22am Reply

    • Victoria: I admit that I love the square Japanese bread. It has a wheaty, milky flavor and is neutral enough to handle any topping. It reminds me of French pain de mie, another perfect bread for toasting.

      I loved Maru and Tsurunoko, the so-called “chocolate persimmons”, which I could get in Japan. They were completely non-astrigent even when firm and when you sliced them, they looked brown inside. I’ve seen them at stores in the US too, but they’re never identified by variety. October 16, 2013 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Aisha: I’ve never tasted a persimmon. I feel deprived of what appears to be a lovely, delicious fruit. And the fact that freezing them speeds up the ripening process fascinates me. Sure wish I could do that with bananas…

    By the way, the bread in the background looks yummy. Did you bake that yourself? October 16, 2013 at 10:33am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s also very nutritious! When I was little, I was ill a lot, so my family doctor told my mom that I need to eat lots of persimmons and pomegranates in season. I remember that she would squeeze fresh pomegranate juice for me for breakfast. Gosh, imagine how much time it took (it was all done by hand)!

      Yes, I made that bread. :) It’s a simple white bread with raisins. The recipe came with one of my Japanese bread molds, and I thought that it was very good for breakfast toast. It’s my husband’s favorite, so I make it time to time.

      I think that you could try putting bananas in a brown bag with a couple of apples, and it really speeds up the ripening process. October 16, 2013 at 12:07pm Reply

      • Az: Could I trouble you for the recipe? Good bread recipes are so hard to find. :)

        On persimmons, I remember buying one from the supermarket in my early days in the UK. Imagine my shock (and horror) when I bit into the hard flesh and got that awful cotton wool taste while expecting something different. :x

        The bargain bin trick is a good one! October 16, 2013 at 3:13pm Reply

        • Victoria: Here you go:
          425g all-purpose flour
          5.6 g salt
          4g of active dry yeast
          35g sugar
          30g unsalted butter butter
          240- 315g water (it will depend on how much your flour will absorb)
          6g dry milk
          105g raisins, rinsed and drained well
          1/2 tsp of cinnamon

          Knead everything but raisins and cinnamon together. The dough should be elastic and soft. Let it rise for 1h at room temperature. Knead in raisins and cinnamon, shape into a round ball and give another 2 hours of fermentation. Shape into a loaf or put into a buttered, floured bread mold. Preheat the oven to 375F. Let the dough proof till it doubles. Bake for 35 – 40min, or till evenly golden.

          But I often change the proofing times and the order in which I add ingredients. I also like to proof dough in the fridge. If you’re an experienced baker, you can probably adjust things to your own taste. If not, I highly recommend Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. It has many recipes and explains the process in lots of detail, so you can apply his tips to any recipe you encounter. People also recommend Dough by Richard Bertinet, which is less detailed but more user friendly. It also has lots of great recipes. October 16, 2013 at 3:35pm Reply

          • Aisha: I was going to ask you, too! Thank you! October 16, 2013 at 3:36pm Reply

            • Victoria: The proportions are a bit weird (105 grams of raisins!), because I was adjusting the recipe for my mold. It makes a 1.5 lb loaf (more or less). October 17, 2013 at 7:49am Reply

          • Az: Thank you!! :D October 16, 2013 at 5:06pm Reply

  • nikki: This is great timing! Just came from an Asian supermarket and admired them…but never really ate a good one. Now I will look out for these and try them on toast! Thank you!

    I have the old (60s, 70s) Time Life Cooking Books about foods of the world and the Japanese book (page 28) has the most beautiful photo of a Persimmon tree with fruit in snow, and children and a policeman on a bike waiting to pick them after an early October frost. A man is standing close to it with his Shiba Inu dog whose color is like the ripe Persimmons…..I have a dog who is part Chow and Shiba inu and who has this persimmon color fur and a purple tongue. Beautiful!

    We are indeed lucky to have the world at our finger tips and to be so indulged with the fruits and vegetables from every different ethnic group. October 16, 2013 at 10:55am Reply

    • Victoria: There is so much more variety of everything, and as people migrate, they carry their own traditions and foods with them. It fascinated me so much at first how you can find Nepalese grocery stores in small towns in Belgium.

      Time Life Cooking Books were an interesting collection. I see them often at the used book stores. October 16, 2013 at 2:40pm Reply

  • Lia: I’m a big fan of persimmons. I’ve never tried them for breakfast. Great ideas you have here. I am so gonna try it. As usual I adore your pretty pictures! October 16, 2013 at 11:50am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Lia! They’re a photogenic fruit. :)
      I like toast and fruit for breakfast, so this is a great way to combine them. October 16, 2013 at 2:43pm Reply

  • Lucas: I have never eaten a persimmon and I think they’re not very common in supermarkets or grocery stores in Poland. But I remember I once drank a carrot juice from a limited tropical edition and they had guanabana, kumquat, persimmon or salac next to the carrot. October 16, 2013 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: Persimmon and carrot would be a nice match in juice, I think! Actually, I love almost any orange colored fruit or vegetable. The color alone is so enticing. October 16, 2013 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Courant: I had a Fuyu tree in a previous property. It is very hard to keep the birds away. The tree, brittle in storms, is a thing of beauty. I like persimmons, period, but they provide colour and contrast in a salad with a good vinaigrette. October 16, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

    • nikki: Good idea, I will try persimmons in salad! October 17, 2013 at 12:15am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m now determined to make a whole persimmon feast this weekend–persimmon salad, persimmon sauce for grilled chicken, hummus with persimmon. :)

      The trees are stunning, aren’t they! Especially when the branches are bare and the landscape is starting to turn into a palette of black, white and grey. That splash of orange is such a welcome sight. October 17, 2013 at 7:48am Reply

  • Austenfan: I had never heard of persimmons. Having done a little “research” on the net, I believe a variety of them is sold as “kaki” in the Netherlands. Which I have never tasted. I clearly need to look out for them, as your recipe, sounds delicious. October 16, 2013 at 4:25pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: They are called kaki (or sharon) in Germany too. October 17, 2013 at 7:31am Reply

    • Victoria: I think that they’re called kaki in many European languages. That’s what persimmon is called in Japanese. Interestingly enough, since persimmons came to Russia from Persia, there it’s known by a Farsi name, “hurma.” It’s so interesting to see the trade and discovery patterns through these names. October 17, 2013 at 8:11am Reply

      • Austenfan: It is. I love finding out about the origins of words anyway.

        Your poor husband though, he clearly wanted to make a good impression. October 17, 2013 at 8:41am Reply

        • Victoria: He really did! Just thinking about biting into an unripe persimmon makes me cringe. I can’t imagine trying to eat the whole thing. October 17, 2013 at 10:28am Reply

      • Annikky: It’s “hurmaa” in Estonian, too. October 17, 2013 at 2:39pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s interesting, but I suppose that it makes sense, since persimmon is an import to the Baltics as well. My Iranian friend just emailed me after reading this post that in Farsi the original word sounds more like “khoormaloo,” which literally means date-plum. Since ripe persimmons taste a bit of dates, it describes them so well. I will now be thinking of persimmons as giant dates. :) October 17, 2013 at 5:14pm Reply

  • behemot: Thank you for this recipes and ideas. I saw two kinds of persimons in my local food-coop, and was thinking what to do with them.. Now I know.
    The story about your husband and stepdad is hilarious. I have some stories like this, too :) October 16, 2013 at 4:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: I kept telling him, you can always say no! But I don’t think that he minded that much. Until the next day, that is. :) October 17, 2013 at 8:13am Reply

      • behemot: :) October 18, 2013 at 1:06am Reply

  • Mel: Can’t wait to try b/c I LOVE your recipes. Coincidentally, just bought some ground chicken TODAY for your perfectly perfect kofta recipe which has been in heavy rotation since I first tried it. Thanks, V!!! October 16, 2013 at 9:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so happy to hear that you liked that kofta recipe. We also make it often, and if I’m too tired or too busy to cook, it’s one of the recipes my husband makes. He even started experimenting with spices. :) October 17, 2013 at 8:16am Reply

  • nozknoz: Victoria, I’m so grateful for this post! I visited Rome in November/December once and feasted on the perfectly ripe persimmons, which immediately became my favorite fruit (don’t tell mangos I said that, please!). In the U.S., however, I’ve never managed to find ripe ones or to avoid the sudden unripe to rotten transition.

    I’ve seen the Fuyus in stores here but always passed them up – now I know to try them. Lots of other great ideas in this discussion, too! October 16, 2013 at 10:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love writing on these topics, because invariably there will be so many great suggestions and ideas in the comments.

      The freezing trick works really well to avoid the rotten overnight transition. Persimmons should not be rotten in any way (just like any rotten fruit, they will be inedible at that stage), but meltingly soft. Once you take them out of the freezer and thaw them thoroughly, just peel off the skin and you will have a very soft jelly.

      Fuyus also taste sweeter if they yield a little when you touch them. The texture of a ripe Fuyu is just as sensual as that of mango. (You know, I realized that I love persimmons, but I didn’t realize until I re-read my comments how much I love them. :)) October 17, 2013 at 8:21am Reply

  • Andy: It took until last year for me to finally come to appreciate persimmons. Now, I can’t wait to get my hands on some. I will have to try the toast recipe when I get a chance too.

    This post also reminds me of a favorite poem by Li-Young Lee called “Persimmons.” October 17, 2013 at 8:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: I looked up Lee’s poem, because I wasn’t familiar with it, and it’s very moving. I love this part: “My mother said every persimmon has a sun
      inside, something golden, glowing…”
      Thank you, Andy! October 18, 2013 at 10:50am Reply

      • Andy: I agree, those lines are beautiful. I also love the poem because now, every time I hear a cardinal singing, I think of the lines “The sun, the sun”. October 18, 2013 at 3:28pm Reply

        • Victoria: What a great image!

          I just had to have persimmons today. :) October 18, 2013 at 4:35pm Reply

  • Maddyrain: Persimmons are pretty common here in Brazil, where they are known as “caquis”, though I must confess that I can’t stand them! I always considered them some sort of tomatoes that went completely wrong! lol
    Once I found the info that there’s a limited edition of Acqua de Gió with a persimmon note and I was intrigued, but I never found it to buy… :( October 18, 2013 at 2:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hmmm, I doubt that anyone would detect much persimmon in Acqua de Gió’s flankers. The most persimmon heavy perfume is probably Calvin Klein Euphoria, which used a whole accord based around the scent of this fruit. October 18, 2013 at 2:39pm Reply

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