Persimmons might not be as well known as many other fruits. Still, they are absolutely delicious when eaten at the perfect moment. Although some popular persimmon varieties are from China and Japan, America also has a wild persimmon variety. If you have a persimmon tree, you may ask when these fruits are in season?
Different varieties of persimmons ripen at other times, although they are all in season between September and February. It is essential that you know what type you have as they are harvested at different times of ripeness. Harvesting persimmons at the wrong time can be a regrettable mistake.
When Are Persimmons In Season?
Although the different variants of persimmons are harvested at different times depending on their ripeness, all persimmons are harvested from September until December. Therefore, it is really important to know which variant of persimmons you have to know when the perfect time to pick them is.
There are many varieties of persimmons. However, we will discuss the three main types: wild American persimmons, Fuyu persimmons from Japan, and Chinese Hachiya persimmons. These three varieties are all found in America.
Wild persimmons can be found in many parts of the country, including Michigan, the Great Lakes, the Southern Gulf States, and even the Ozarks. In addition, persimmons are commercially farmed in Florida, Connecticut, and Texas.
What Are The Different Persimmon Varieties?
The three most commonly found persimmon varieties that can be found in America are wild American persimmons, Fuyu persimmons, and Hachiya persimmons. These persimmons look slightly different and ripen to different stages.
When Are Wild American Persimmons Ready For Harvest?
Wild American persimmons are smaller than the other two varieties. They are round and grow to be about the size of a plum. Ideally, you would wait for these persimmons to ripen fully on the tree before harvesting them.
However, animals such as birds, deer, and raccoons all love to eat ripe persimmons. Therefore, you will harvest them early and allow them to ripen off the tree. The persimmons will still feel hard when you harvest them, although they should be completely orange.
To harvest wild American persimmons, use a knife or scissors and cut them from the tree, leaving a short piece of stem above the fruit. Take care when harvesting persimmons as they bruise easily. Place them in a flat container in one layer and allow them to ripen in a cool dark place at room temperature.
The persimmons are ready to eat when they are completely soft to the touch. To eat wild American persimmons, cut them open and scoop out the pulp inside. It should taste sweet and floral.
When Are Japanese Fuyu Persimmons Ready For Harvest?
Fuyu persimmons have a completely different texture to wild American and Hachiya persimmons. They are lighter in color and have a round shape. Fuyu persimmons are crisp when ripe. They have a texture similar to apples.
Wait until the Fuyu persimmons are fully colored before harvesting. The persimmons are now ready to be harvested and are also ripe enough to eat. They should still be firm to the touch. However, they also bruise easily, so they should be handled with care.
To harvest Fuyu persimmons, use a pair of scissors to cut them from the tree. The persimmons can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge if you don’t want to eat them right away.
When Are Chinese Hachiya Persimmons Ready For Harvest?
Hachiya persimmons are shaped like an acorn. They have bright orange skin and dark green leaves and the same texture as wild American persimmons. Therefore, they should be soft to the touch when they are ready to eat.
You can also harvest Hachiya persimmons when they are entirely orange but firm to the touch. To harvest Hachiya persimmons, use scissors to cut them from the tree. Unfortunately, they are also bruised easily, so handle them with care and store them in a single layer.
You can ripen your Hachiya persimmons at room temperature or store them in the refrigerator if you don’t want to ripen them yet. Hachiya persimmons are best eaten when soft to the touch and can be scooped out of their skins like pudding.
When it comes to wild American persimmons and Chinese Hachiya persimmons, you must wait until they are fully ripe. While this might take some time and a lot of patience, these persimmons will taste bitter and chalky if you eat them before they are ripe.
Can You Store Persimmons?
All three variants of persimmons can be stored in the refrigerator. However, be sure to keep the persimmons away from other fruit as these can cause the persimmons to ripen. When you want to ripen your persimmons, take them out of the fridge and leave them in a bowl at room temperature.
If you want to store your persimmons for a longer period, you can keep them in the freezer. Persimmons can be frozen for up to eight months.
Wild American persimmons and Hachiya persimmons can then be left to thaw partly. They can then be eaten like ice cream by scooping the slushy inside from the skin. However, Fuyu persimmons are better left to thaw entirely and then eaten.
Another popular way to preserve persimmons is to dry them. Dehydrated persimmons are delicious and can last for up to twelve months. You can dry persimmons as follows:
- To dry persimmons, you need to use persimmons that are not fully ripe yet. So, when using wild American or Hachiya persimmons, you can dry them once they are harvested.
- Wash and peel the persimmons. You can peel the persimmons using a knife. Keep the cap and stem on the persimmon.
- Then, tie a string around the stem of the persimmons and hang them in a well-ventilated area, such as from a rafter.
- Leave the persimmons to air dry. This can take up to two months. The persimmons are ready when they feel leathery and pliable.
- Take the persimmons off the string and place them in an airtight container. Dried persimmons can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
How Do You Tell If Persimmons Are Bad?
Many people say that they can never be overripe when it comes to persimmons. This is partly true, as persimmons only get sweeter the longer they are left to ripen (in the case of American and Hachiya persimmons).
However, if you notice that the persimmons start smelling sour or taste fizzy, it means that the persimmons have gone bad, and you should not eat them. Once persimmons are fully ripe, they only last for a short while.
Therefore, it is best to keep them in the refrigerator before they are fully ripe and eat them as soon as they are perfectly ripe.