Table of content A-Z

 

persimmon

 

Synonyms: Japanese persimmon, kaki

botanical name: Diospyros kaki


Kaki

 

The persimmon is native to China, Japan and South Korea. The majority of persimmons are grown today in Japan, but they are cultivated in all subtropical or warm countries.

 

Availability

Persimmons are on sale from about the middle of October until the middle of December, from Italy and more recently also from Spain. Smaller amounts are available from Israel in November and December.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

With their round, oblate shape, some varieties of persimmon resemble tomatoes. Others are oblong-oval and round or tapered toward the receptacle. Depending on the variety, they are yellow, orange or red. Beneath the thin, shiny, usually inedible skin is the jelly-like pulp. Now and then it contains seeds.

 

Fully ripened persimmons taste like a mixture of pear, apricot and quince.

 

Some persimmon varieties taste tart at the beginning and have an astringent effect in the mouth. Such fruits taste sweet only when they are absolutely ripe. They do not have a very pronounced aroma. Unfortunately, this is not outwardly discernible.

 

Varieties that are not astringent can also be eaten when they are not yet ripe.

 

Ingredients

Persimmons have a high carbohydrate content. Above all they contain glucose.

In addition, they are rich in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Their content of vitamin C varies greatly, from 6 to 50 mg in 100 g.

 

100 g contain:

 

Persimmon, fresh

Energy (kcal)

71

Water (g)

79

Protein (g)

1

Fat (g)

<1

Carbohydrates (g)

16

Fibre (g)

3

Vitamin C (mg)

16

Vitamin A (RE) (µg)

267

Carotene (mg)

2

Folic acid (µg)

8

Potassium (mg)

170

Sodium (mg)

4

Calcium (mg)

8

Magnesium (mg)

8

Iron (mg)

0.4

 

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Unfortunately, the appearance of a persimmon tells us nothing about how it will taste. What would be considered over-ripe with other fruits is optimal for the persimmon. Only a few varieties can be eaten at an earlier stage.

 

A persimmon is really ripe when the pulp can be seen shimmering through the thin skin. In this condition, however, the fruits are very sensitive and must be consumed without delay.

 

Unripe persimmons can be kept in the refrigerator for several days. They continue to ripen at room temperature.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

It is possible to eat the skin of the persimmon, but since it takes away from the delicate taste of the pulp, it is better to peel persimmons. You can also cut them in half and spoon out the pulp. If there are seeds they should be discarded first.

 

Tasty desserts can be made from persimmons, e.g. purée and compote. They are also good for making jam or syrup. Persimmons harmonize very well with lemon juice. Try them simply sprinkled with lemon juice, or mix a dessert sauce of the persimmon pulp, lemon juice and a liqueur.

In some countries dried persimmons are popular. They are sold under the name kaki-figs.

 

Miscellaneous

The word 'kaki' comes from Japanese and means simply 'fruit'. The botanical name Diospyros is more ornate; it stems from Greek and is tantamount to 'fruit of the divine fire'.

 

 

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