Persimmon are a delicious fruit, originally cultivated in Asia. The fruit has a delicate flavour and is suited to both sweet and savoury dishes. Persimmons have a similar appearance to a tomato (without seeds). Skin colours vary from light orange to deep red and if cut horizontally, a star pattern is visible in the fruit.
There are two styles of persimmons: non-astringent (sweet) which are mostly squat and round with a flat top and can be eater semi-ripe or ripe and an astringent which must be completely ripe. Fuyu is the main sweet variety grown in Australia. The heart-shaped Hachiya astringent variety is commonly available in Australia. Astringent persimmons have a bitter taste in the unripe fruit causing a mouth-puckering sensation, which disappears once they are completely ripe.
Once ripe, Persimmons have flavour similar to peach. They can be eaten raw (like an apple), cooked or dried. Persimmons work well in a variety of dishes most notably pies, cakes, puddings, salads, curries and as a topping for breakfast cereal.