Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Something New: Persimmons!

If you're like me, you may have noticed persimmons at the grocery store but had no idea how to choose one, what to do with them, or what they are for. Up until now, I never tried any type of persimmon. So I figured it was time to do a little research and give them a shot.

There are two main kinds of persimmons usually found at the grocery store: Fuyu and Hachiya. It's important to know which you are getting, because:

Fuyu persimmons are eaten while still firm and taste fine.

Hachiya persimmons are eaten when they are so ripe they are almost mushy. If you try to eat a firm one you will run screaming and spitting to the trash can and never want to try a persimmon again in your life. Bad, bad, bad. Do Not Try a firm Hachiya persimmon!

So you have to know which one you are getting.

Above: the squat, round persimmon I am holding on the left is a Fuyu. The two longer, pointier ones are Hachiyas.

When you cut into a Fuyu, it looks like this:

Pretty, huh? You can slice it up like that and it would look really nice on a fruit plate or as a garnish. But you can just wash the Fuyu and eat it like an apple, skin and all. It's kinda crisp, not quite as crisp as an apple. And you *can* let it ripen further to get sweeter. Personally? I am not a fan. Not as sweet or tart as an apple. Kind of bland, IMO. In fact, the only way I would eat one again is to dice it and put it in a green salad. I think it would be good like that. Good meaning okay... not good meaning fantastic like pomegranates in salad.

Above is the Hachiya persimmon. It also has the same pretty pattern when sliced in half, but I just cut a sliver off this one. You can probably tell it is way softer and juicier than the Fuyu. In fact you are supposed to let the Hachiya soften to the extreme, until as one website put it "you can almost suck the flesh out of it" instead of biting. So I did that, and it was pretty tasty. Better than the Fuyu, much sweeter. But sweet was the defining taste for me. It is so hard to define the flavor. Just sweet. Not much else. So once again, this is not something I would purchase and eat again unless I had some recipe I wanted to try it in.

Persimmons have about 110 (or more) calories each, and they are much smaller than an apple so I'd go with an apple for a snack, myself. They also have 70% of your RDA of Vitamin A, though, which is great, and 20% of your RDA of Vitamin C and 167% of the RDA of B2. These figures are variable depending on what source you get your nutrition facts from and which kind of persimmon you're eating.

So, yeah, they are worth trying. Maybe you will love them. Persimmons are in season from now through January so if you want to give them a try, now's the time! Personally, I will stick to pomegranates.

p.s.... I have been sick for over a week now. I think I may be *starting* to feel better but it has taken a toll. I have not been able to exercise in several days (truly unable, much too sick) but have stayed within my calories until last night when I had some toast before bedtime. I ended up with 2030 calories. Funny thing is, all week I was staying closer to 1400-1500 calories because I felt so bad but the scale popped back up to 227 a few days ago. Kinda ticked me off to see a 2-pound gain when I was eating within my range AND was still biking, but I think I must be retaining water or something because I am sick. I'm hanging in there.

16 comments:

Larkspur said...

Thanks for the persimmon review! Now I will feel okay about passing them up :)

Re the scale, it just does that sometimes. Just as inexplicably it drops down again. Its ways are inscrutable.

Feel better soon.

The Phat Nanny said...

Thanks for the intel! Good to know! I'm not sure that we have them around here (I haven't seen them) but you never know!

Tammy said...

I've never tried persimmons...and now it doesn't sound like I really have a reason to, lol. Pomegranates, on the other hand, are phenomenal. Hope you feel better very soon. Being sick for this long gets really OLD.

screwdestiny said...

Huh, I've never tried persimmons before, but maybe I'll pick a couple up next time I go to the grocery store.

NutriAngel said...

In the UK, they are called Sharon Fruit. Why we have differnt names, I don't know! I don't care for them myself, but it is personal preference.

Autumnforest said...

I love persimmons! When I was a kid, we had a tree. I used to give them to my siblings unripe and they hated them, so then I waited until they ripened and hoarded them for myself. (It's what you have to do with 4 siblings).

My holiday gift to blogs I follow is to tell them what I love about their blogs.

I have to tell you that your blog is one of my favorite "escapes." I come here for a reality check, a sister to give advice, a feeling of common goals and common obstacles, and someone who is beautifully showing the grace, dignity, and thoughtfulness in life change. You have a wonderful insight and writing style. Keep it up!

Judith said...

Thank you for this! I tried my first pomegranate because of your earlier post, now I'm a fan. But I think I may pass on persimmons and stick to apples. (Though they are a very pretty colour.)

Anonymous said...

when i'm sick, i find miso soup makes me feel a lot better. like chicken soup with the warm salty niceness, but somehow less... slimy? not sure what it is. i just slice up a clove of garlic and boil it in about two cups of water. take the boiling water OFF of the heat, let it stand for about two minutes. make a little slurry with two or three large tablespoons miso paste. add it to the main pot. slice up a scallion and throw it in, then drink it like tea. super nutrition, very low cal.

Chris said...

Persimmons are very popular here in Korea. People buy a box of Hachiyas and freeze the lot, and eat them with a spoon as a sherbet-like winter dessert. There are also dried persimmons which are extremely sweet and chewy.

Until recently I did not like persimmons very much, but recently I developed a new taste for them. I still don't care for Hachiyas very much, but now I absolutely love Fuyus. What I really love is their crunchy texture, so I never eat them ripe. Fuyus also feel sweet enough for me, in fact they are called "sweet persimmon" in Korean.

Lisa said...

I have never heard of that kind of fruit! I am so excited you have found a new treat for me. I actually put up a post today asking if anyone had any new and interesting foods they had picked up recently. I also wanted to tell you not to worry about the scale when you are sick...you are for sure retaining water. So don't worry your pretty little head over it! :) I actually found out a really neat new fact about coffee today too :)

Foodie Girl said...

I am half Korean and have grown up eating persimmons my whole life. I would advise anyone buying them to visit a local Asian market to purchase them instead of the grocery store. Your wallet will thank you.

Anonymous said...

have to stick up for persimmons here! they are very good and i lvoe them, they are one of my favorite fruits. i am honestly surprised you didn't like them and that so many people had never even heard of them! i actually like them better than apples and get excited when they come this time of year. well for anyone out there, you MIGHT actually like them so give them a try!! :)

Hanlie said...

I tried them for the first time this year and I LOVE them. I cut a few up and eat them for breakfast, or use them in fruit salad.

TheLosingAmerican said...

Pomegranates were buy one get one free at Sainsbury’s (UK grocery store) yesterday. I got 2, they were DELICIOUS!!! I left one by my desk and picked at it all day whenever I got hungry….better than picking at all of the sweets laying around. Would HIGHLY recommend it if you work in an office with snacks all over the place during the holidays, like me 

redballoon said...

Here in Japan, persimmons (kaki) are huge and there are so many of them that they usually fall from the trees and are left to rot or rot on them and go uneaten. It's a shame. Also, of course, you can buy them everyone. They can be delicious but are a bit of a pain to peel. Yes, Lyn, there are different types. Great explanation. If you get the wrong kind you will really wonder why anyone could like them. Get the right kind and you will know. I hope you can get ones that are ripe enough to be sweet though.

Karyn said...

Lyn, sorry you've been sick. If it makes you feel any better, I always gain weight when I'm sick - even when I've stuck totally to my plan.

I think you are right about water retention. Or maybe it is just our body's response....."stock up now before this person is too sick to feed us!"