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How to eat persimmons without getting all puckered up!
This persimmon is ready! I got lucky -- this
one had very few seeds!
considered to be a nuisance or a "weed" tree. But it is highly prized by wildlife and people in the know.
Most of what you hear about persimmons is that they are a great for pulling a practical joke. Contrary to what you may have heard, green persimmons are not bitter.
They have a lot of tannin and will coat the inside of your mouth and your teeth with a film that is definitely unpleasant. It's much like eating a green banana. It takes
quite an effort to clean all of that stuff out of your mouth.
Is it ripe?
What is confusing is that when a persimmon first achieves its shiny, characteristic persimmon-orange color, it's still green. When a persimmon ripens it loses its
shine, becomes dull and maybe even a little wrinkled. (See the photos on this page.) Once ripe, persimmons are a delectable treat worthy of eating fresh and
baking into specialty desserts.
As with any wild fruit, the quality of persimmon will vary from tree to tree. If you find a tree that is frequented by wildlife, that's a good sign it's a good one. It's best to
test a fruit or two to understand when the fruit on a particular tree reaches it's peak.
To eat a persimmon from a newly found tree, select a fruit that looks ripe and break it open, and taste a little of the pulp. The last portion of the fruit to ripen is that
surrounding the seeds. So, stay away from the seeds on the first taste. The pulp should be sweet or very sweet without a hint of tannin. It that checks out okay, try a
portion of the pulp with the seeds. If you still don't detect any tannin, then it's completely ripe.
There is a thin membrane around each seed that takes a few moments to work off with your tongue and teeth. When you're done, spit out the seeds. Keep in mind
that those little seeds will make more persimmon trees. So, be thoughtful where you drop the seeds.
Persimmon seeds, the leftovers!
Persimmon trees are very prolific and
frequently produce bumper crops.
These persimmons "may" be ripe. They have
lost their shine and are just starting to get
soft. They are worth a taste.
This one has wrinkles and is definitely worth
a taste. It's ready.