Bright-orange lantern-shaped persimmons are native to northern China, and they have been long cultivated in Japan. Persimmons can be eaten crisp like an apple and they have a sweet mildly tropical flavour.
Choose firm, bright orange unblemished fruit with green calyxes.
Persimmons will keep better in the fruit bowl at room temperature rather than in the fridge where they will soften more quickly. The flesh can be frozen successfully: although the texture will be lost, the flavour and colour remain.
Persimmons are a good source of vitamin A which helps to fight infection and beta-carotene — a powerful antioxidant which gives persimmons their deep-orange colour. They also provide good amounts of fibre for bowel health.
Remove the calyx petals and peel the persimmon with a paring knife. Cut in wedges, slices or chunks.
- Cut in chunks and add to a fruit salad or fruit kebabs with pineapple, grapes and melon.
- Add frozen cubed persimmons to fruit smoothies with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for zing. Use also for sorbets, purées and sauces.
- Use as an addition to a cheese plate with oatmeal crackers and your favourite blue or white mould cheeses.