What is a Persimmon and How Does It Taste?

If you haven’t tried a persimmon before, learn all about this popular fruit!

Persimmons are a type of fruit that belong to the genus Diospyros. While persimmons aren’t the most popular fruits, they are growing in popularity and availability here in the US.

persimmon fruit

Many people love persimmons for their sweet but mild and honey-like taste.

Learn all about this fruit – it might just become your new favorite! 

Types of Persimmons

There are two main types of persimmons: astringent and non-astringent. 

persimmon slices

Astringent persimmons, like the Hachiya variety, are particularly strong in tannins and need to be fully ripe before eating. Non-astringent persimmons, like the Fuyu variety, lack the same astringent flavor and can be eaten when still firm.

Both types of persimmons have the same orange color, but Fuyu persimmons are rounder and more squat than Hachiya persimmons. Non-astringent persimmons like Fuyus are more commonly found here in the US. 

Nutritional Benefits of Persimmon Fruit

Persimmons are a good source of several important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and manganese. 

They also contain a variety of other beneficial compounds such as polyphenols, carotenoids and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and may help protect against chronic diseases. 

Persimmons are good for heart health, immune system health, digestion, and can reduce inflammation.

What Do Persimmons Taste Like?

Persimmons have a sweet, tangy flavor in general, though the flavor might vary based on the variety.

Non-astringent persimmons, such as the Fuyu variety, have a texture similar to an apple and can be eaten while still firm. They have a sweet, mild and delicate flavor.

Astringent persimmons, like the Hachiya variety, have a more jelly-like texture because they have to be eaten fully ripe. They are incredibly sweet and have a flavor that is characterized as a blend of pumpkin, apricot, and honey.

How To Eat Persimmons

Persimmons can be eaten raw, or they can be used in a variety of recipes and baked goods.

Healthy salad with persimmon

As we’ve mentioned, the type of persimmon will affect when you can eat it raw. You can bite into a raw, firm non-astringent persimmon the way you would an apple. These persimmons are also commonly sliced and used as toppings for salads or in a fruit salad.

When you eat astringent persimmons raw, it’s typically with a spoon to scoop out the soft, jelly-like flesh. They can also be blended into a jam or other fruit spread.

Persimmon Recipes

Persimmons can also be used in a wide variety of recipes, from baked goods to salads and more. You can even roast persimmons and enjoy them warm.

Check out some of our favorite persimmon recipes for inspiration! I love a good persimmon dessert or even a unique persimmon salsa.

Where Do Persimmons Grow? 

Persimmons are an Asian fruit native to China, Korea, and Japan, as well as other parts of Asia. It has been grown in these areas for thousands years and is a significant component of the regional food and culture.

japanese persimmon tree

Persimmons are actually the national fruit of Japan!

The fruit was brought to America in the 19th century and is now grown in states like California and Florida, among others.

The Spanish and Portuguese also introduced persimmons to South and Central America, where they are produced today in nations like Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. The fruit is also grown in other parts of the world, including various regions of Africa, Italy, France, and Greece.

The persimmon fruit is considered as a symbol of longevity, wealth and good luck in some cultures.

Growing Persimmons

Persimmons grow on trees, and thrive in warmer and sunny environments.

woman harvesting a persimmon from tree

In the US, they grow along the west coast and can grow throughout the southern states. They prefer sun, although they can tolerate some shade.

Persimmon trees can grow in a wide variety of soils so long as they are well-draining and not soggy. 

Persimmons are a winter fruit, and they are typically harvested between October and January.

Have You Tried a Persimmon? 

If you haven’t tried a persimmon, you’re missing out! Whether you eat a raw persimmon as a healthy snack or you try it in a new recipe, it’s great to find a new fruity flavor to enjoy.

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.