The holiday season saw me indulge in a new fruit I’ve been curious about for some time. I’m sure that we have all been curious about a particular fruit or veg and wondered how it tastes, where it comes from, knowing when it’s edible and how to eat it?!. I’m always having that ‘Oh I must try that’ conversation with myself! And persimmons were on that list of fruits that I needed to try. It looks like a tomato and tastes like a mango, well, that’s what I think. Someone told me that they think it tastes like papaya!
I’m eagerly anticipating my last 3 persimmons to ripen in my kitchen so I can continue my indulgence. I must add these to my favourite fruits list.
I’m heading to China in the next couple of weeks and I’m going to be in Persimmon heaven and I bet they taste even better in their natural habitat.
THEY CALL ME SHARON
Persimmon’s, also known as the Sharon fruit is a golden yellow, orange when ripened, oval shaped, flavorful, smooth textured delicacy from East Asia. It’s sweet, delicious flesh is packed with health-promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants vital for optimum health. I also think they taste a bit like mangoes, but without the stringy bits that mangoes have?!
There are two types of Persimmon trees, one that bears the “astringent fruit” (whilst unripe) and those that bear “non-astringent” fruits. An astringent cultivar, which is commonly cultivated in Japan known as “Hachiya,” is high in tannins and must be allowed to ripen fully until it attains jelly-soft consistency before being fit to eat. Someone told me that it tastes awful when it’s not ripe. This shouldn’t affect your purchase of the Persimmon in markets and stores in the UK as there is only one type that is sold over here. The non-astringent persimmon, on the other hand, contains less tannin and can be eaten while it is crispy. If you want to remove the astringency, you can soak the fruit in alcohol. Either way, wait until the fruit is slightly soft and ripe before you eat or juice it.
Photo credit Ruth_W
So what do I get for my indulgence?! and how you can benefit from this sweet treat.
Potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus.
B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin.
Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It, thus, helps prevent “Age-related macular related macular disease”(ARMD) in the elderly.
Persimmons are a very good source of vitamin-C.
Fight free radicals and reactive the oxygen supply in your body, as there is an abundance of vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and cryptoxanthin in this fruit.
Persimmons contain flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as catechins and gallocatechin’s in addition to having an important anti-tumor compound, betulinic acid. Apparently, Catechins have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.
And saving the best till last… The persimmon is moderately high in calories but very low in fats. You can eat the flesh which is a great source of dietary fibre, so start indulging!
How do you eat it?
Very simple, after its ripened, wash, dry and cut off the leaves at the top of the fruit and eat it. You can also blend them, dry them to add to salads, fruit pies, cookies and cakes.
Have you tried Persimmons? and do you think they taste like Mangoes?