The orange, heart-shaped beauties in the fall box every year are Hachiya persimmons. Unlike the squatty Fuyu persimmon, this variety is very astringent, and the tannins in the flesh have to break down before it is good for eating. But when it’s ready, you’ll have a sweet treat, naturally packed with autumn flavor.
The Ripening Process
If you can’t wait a couple of weeks (and it will take a couple of weeks) for your Hachiyas to ripen up on your countertop, try one of these options for speeding the process along:
- Stick with the traditional method of putting the fruit you wish to ripen in a paper bag with an apple or banana.
- Put the persimmons in the freezer and once fully frozen, take them out again. The thawing will soften them right up and you can proceed with your chosen recipe.
You’ll know your Hachiyas are ripe when they look like they’re way overripe and starting to lose shape and collapse in on themselves on the counter. When the uncut fruit feels soft and jiggly like a water balloon, it’s perfect!
When ready, cut your persimmons in half and use a spoon to scoop out the translucent flesh.
Eat the pulp as a snack, serve gooey slices on a platter with spoons for everyone, spread pulp over waffles or french toast, serve with yogurt, add to smoothies, or bake some classic holiday cookies, bread, or other goodies.
Keep these persimmons at room temperature until they’re ripe and then store in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. They should last for about three weeks on the countertop. Persimmons will last for several months in the freezer.