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Persimmon Fuyu

Diospyros kaki


Persimmons are a large, smooth-skinned orange fruit with no core, a similar shape to a squat tomato. There are two types, astringent and sweet, but the astringent variety is so unpleasant to eat before it ripens that you’re only likely to find the sweet Fuyu variety, which is edible and sweet even while unripe.

Persimmons have a faintly apricot-like flavour, starting off crunchy like an apple. As they ripen the skin turns translucent and the flesh becomes like jelly – a point at which many people believe they’re at their best.

Persimmons are an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A.

Choose plump persimmons that are a redder shade of orange, with glossy, smooth skin. Avoid any with cracks or bruises, or which are missing the leaves on top. Store them at room temperature until they’ve reached the ripeness you like best.



Persimmons originated in China, but the Fuyu that is grown in New Zealand is a Japanese cultivar, probably introduced from Japan in the early 1870s.


Apart from cutting into quarters and eating as they are, persimmons are excellent for giving a splash of colour and a touch of sweetness to a green salad. They can also be used cooked, working well in crumbles and curries.

A popular way to eat very ripe persimmons, with their pudding-like texture, is to scoop out a hole in the centre, add a splash of cream, and eat with a spoon.


Persimmons are used in Chinese medicine to regulate ch’i, the life-force energy that sustains all living things.

In the Ozarks, a mountainous area around Arkansas in the United States, folklore says that the pattern inside a halved persimmon can forecast the severity of the upcoming winter.

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