In Season: There are two main varieties of persimmon commercially available in the U.S. today: the acorn-shaped Hachiya, and the squat, tomato-shaped Fuyu. Persimmons begin appearing in markets in late September and are available through December.What to Look For: Hachiya persimmons remain tart and chalky until they are extremely ripe, while Fuyu persimmons are sweeter and can be eaten while still firm. Look for persimmons with taut, glossy skin, avoiding fruit with soft spots or bruises.How to Store: If persimmons are still firm, store them at room temperature and allow them to ripen. Store soft, ripe persimmons in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Sweet and juicy persimmons are the base of this classic holiday pudding recipe from "The Martha Stewart Living Christmas Cookbook." Soft whipped cream can be served as an alternative topping to sour lemon sauce.
This colorful salad, inspired by chef Wolfgang Puck's signature recipe, is made with seasonal fruits and vegetables and Stilton, a sharp English cheese. Hachiya persimmons are large, sweet, and acorn shaped; look for soft, ripe fruits from October through February.
For this salad, look for Fuyu persimmons, which also may be labeled "ready to eat." They can be eaten while they are still firm, unlike the larger Hachiya persimmons, which can only be eaten when very soft.
When fully ripe, persimmons have a glossy red-orange skin, similar to tomatoes', and a tangy-sweet flavor. They are available at most markets from October through March; choose fruit that is plump and slightly soft but not at all mushy.