I have been sitting on the idea for this post ever since I went to Japan at Thanksgiving and tried my first-ever persimmon. Behold its beauty:
I sliced it up and ate it raw. It was delicious—persimmons have a sweetness that is honestly far more candy-like than I expected, judging by its tomato-ish appearance. But we’re all supposed to know better than to judge a book by its cover by now, right?
It was fun to try a new fruit. I’d sampled dried persimmon in the past (also in Japan), but I was eager to try the whole fruit. When the time came, however, I was unsure what do do with it, other than what I did, that is.
And so the above photos languished on my hard drive for a month while I tried to figure out how I could write a blog post that said something more interesting than “Hey look, I ate a persimmon.”
Enter the December 2009 issue of Shape magazine with its very handy and timely half-page feature on persimmons! Or rather, “the healthy food you’re not eating.”
Class, please turn to page 109 of your
textbook December issue of Shape.
Or just read this:
“Except for citrus, the fruit selection this time of year is pretty limited. Tempt your taste buds with persimmons, which are also in season. Whitney Aycock, the executive chef at Counter restaurant in New York City, offers these tips.
- BUY THEM There are two types of persimmons: Hachiya, a heart-shaped fruit that tastes a little like a mango, and Fuyu, which looks like a tomato but has an apricot flavor. ‘Ripe Hachiyas have nearly translucent skin, while Fuyus should be firm and heavy,’ says Aycock. The darker the color, the better the flavor.
- STORE THEM Place semi-firm Hachiyas in a paper bag to ripen. Fuyus soften quickly, so you’ll want to eat them within a few days.
- SERVE THEM For a side dish, cut two Fuyus into 1/4-inch slices and cook for 1 minute over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallots. Add 1/4 cup each blanched yellow wax beans and green beans and cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
In 1 persimmon: 110 calories, 5g fiber, 2,733 IU vitamin A, 17 mg vitamin C”
Thank you for the inspiration, Shape! I’ll take it from here.
A Persimmon Per Person
or rather, Spiced Persimmon and Green Beans
- 1 tsp coconut (or other) oil
- 1 tbsp diced onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green beans (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp raisins
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1 Fuyu persimmon, sliced thinly
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add green beans, raisins and spices, stirring to coat evenly. Cook until beans are tender to your liking.
- Add persimmon slices and stir until well incorporated into the veg-spice mixture. Allow to simmer for about a minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I’m totally in love with my latest creation, if you’ll allow me to say so. It’s a really interesting combination of flavors and textures. What’s more, it doesn’t even take 10 minutes to whip up this single-serving side dish. To serve more people, simply multiply the ingredients! Just make sure to include a persimmon per person. :)
Be sure to get your hands on a persimmon before they disappear for the season!
Have you tried persimmons before? How did you eat them? I’m a curious persimmon rookie.