Monday, December 7, 2009

Fuyu? It's A Persimmon

The Japanese Fuyu persimmon is gaining recognition among fruit lovers in the west as one of nature's finest winter treats. Now is the time to stock up on a supply of Fuyus; if handled properly you will enjoy them for the next six weeks or longer. When stored in a cool place (not in the fridge) Fuyus keep well and will continue to ripen and deepen in color, flavor, and sweetness. Select fruit which is unbruised and deep orange/red in color; the intense pigmentation indicates the presence of valuable essential nutrients.

Edible when firm or soft, the Fuyu contains very low levels of tannins and is never bitter or astringent. (Hachiyas are the high tannin persimmon; more about them in a future post). Although persimmon breads and puddings are popular in American kitchens, I prefer to eat persimmons uncooked in order to appreciate their subtle flavors and to derive maximum nutritional benefits.

There are no limits to Fuyu eating possibilities. Slice and serve sprinkled with a little lime juice; toss with pear slices and a few pomegranate seeds or other fruit, add to a leafy green salad, or blend with nut milk for a luxurious smoothie. Fuyus make convenient travel and snack food; take a few to work, school or on the plane to eat with a handful of almonds or walnuts. Some of nature's best fast food grows on trees and it's yours to enjoy this winter.

( See "Perfect Persimmon Smoothie" for an easy and delicious smoothie recipe; find more persimmon lore under "Persimmons, Food of the Gods").