Why Persimmons Are Giving Pumpkin Season a Run For Its Money

Super-sweet, bloomy, and delicious both raw and cooked, persimmons are a sure-fire way to get a seasonal “wow!” from your guests.

In the west, persimmons are sold under two names: Fuyu persimmons, which are squat with a flat base (similar in shape to a tomato) are sweet and can be eaten when they are either firm or soft.

Hachiya persimmons, which are longer and taper to a blunt point, (similar in shape to an oversize acorn) have an unpleasant astringent taste when unripe, and can only be eaten when completely soft.

Fresh Fuyus are generally firm enough to slice and munch like an apple. They work well in salads or baked in pies and cakes, and can even be sliced thin and dehydrated into crunchy chips.

Ripe Hachiyas, on the other hand, are often too squishy to bite into without making a mess. They are perfect spooned out of their skins and incorporated into jams or compotes.

Both varieties are lovely paired with fresh cheeses, herbs, smoked meats for savory applications. Think the autumnal version of melon and prosciutto. I love them best though eaten right out of hand!

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.