Originally from Asia, the persimmon fruit is also becoming increasingly popular in Europe. Taste, preparation, and health benefits.
It is orange, looks like a tomato and tastes sweet: the persimmon, also known as the Chinese quince, Sharon fruit or persimmon, is becoming increasingly popular in this country. It has been one of the oldest cultivated plants in Asia for over 2,000 years. What is there to know about the persimmon, often referred to as the “sweet fruit of the gods”?
Where the persimmon grows
Persimmon trees grow in mild climates and require a warm summer but can withstand temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees Celsius. They are in season from October to the end of January. The persimmon originally came from East Asia, particularly China and Japan. It is now grown in 17 countries around the world, including Spain, South Korea, Azerbaijan, Brazil and the USA.
Not all persimmons are the same
There are numerous varieties of the fruit. The bitter-tasting original type of persimmon is rarely found in the European fruit trade. Here, the Sharon fruit predominates, which has a much thinner skin and contains no seeds. It comes from Israel and is orange in color.
The slightly more elongated and light red persimmon is similar. It is mainly grown in Spain and also has a very thin skin, but it usually still contains a few seeds. There are numerous other varieties of persimmon in Asian countries.
The persimmon impresses not only with its delicious taste, which resembles a mixture of apricot and honeydew melon, but It also scores highly in terms of nutritional values: it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. At 71 calories per 100 grams, it is quite low in calories.
Incidentally, persimmons are often harvested unripe and then ripen. When unripe, the fruit contains a high proportion of the tannin. It leaves a furry feeling in the mouth. Ripening increases the sugar content of the persimmon, and the taste becomes juicy and sweet.
With skin or without?
The skin varies in thickness depending on the type of persimmon. Fruits with very thick skin taste better when peeled. However, the skin of persimmons is generally edible. It is best to choose organic fruit with untreated skin. Otherwise, wash thoroughly.
Salad, smoothie or snack
Like most types of fruit, sweet fruit can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used as a snack—cut into wedges or halved and spooned up. The persimmon also works well in smoothies, muesli, or fruit cake. But it can also be well combined in savory dishes, for example, in fresh salads or vegetable curries.
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