Cooler air may chase away our favorite summer foods, but fall’s bounty crops up in their place with few offerings more vibrant than the persimmon. Colorful, sweet, and a little exotic, persimmons are a fantastic addition to your fruit bowl. There are two major varieties common in the South, and knowing their differences is key when choosing. Try your hand with this beautiful fruit in this recipe for Arugula Salad with Persimmon, Bacon, and Blue Cheese!
This tomato-shaped persimmon is generally sweeter than other varieties and can be eaten while still slightly under ripe. Fresh fuyus are usually firm enough to slice, or you can eat them whole like an apple. Some people prefer to remove the peel, but it is certainly edible and provides lots of nutrients. They are wonderful sliced into salads or enjoyed on their own.
Acorn-shaped hachiya varieties are incredibly bitter until very, very ripe. Look for hachiyas that have shiny, brightly-colored skin and are heavy for their size. Hachiya persimmons, like ripe tomatoes, are extremely soft and messy to bite into whole. This variety works particularly well in jams and compotes or baked into pies and cakes.