EN on Foods

October 2008 Issue

The Persimmon—A Practically Perfect Fall Fruit

Most of the persimmons we get today are from Brazil, China, Japan and Korea. They are available late September through January, peaking around Thanksgiving. Brightly colored with a glossy, deep orange-red skin, persimmons are classified as astringent or nonastringent. Astringent varieties are distinguished by a plump acorn-like shape that tapers to a point. They have a high tannin content, making them tart and bitter when not ripe. At their peak, however, the tannins disappear and astringent persimmons become soft, almost mushy to the touch. What’s left is a sweet custard-like pulp that you can eat with a spoon and that tastes similar to apricots or plums. The astringent variety you see the most is the Japanese Hachiya (Diospyros kaki), chock full of vitamins A and C, the mineral manganese and a whopping six grams of fiber (nearly twice what’s in an apple). The dark orange-colored pulp is testament to its bounty of beta-carotene, though the amount varies by variety.

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Environmental Nutrition

Get the next year of Environmental Nutrition for just $20. And access all of our online content - how to fight heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, and dozens of other diseases - free of charge.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.