A Tale of Two Persimmons

I’m having a love affair with persimmons. Ever since trying one for the first time earlier this fall, they have had a substantial co-starring role in my fall fruit lineup, alongside apples, pears and now citrus (no to mention our year-round staples of bananas, pineapple and fresh or frozen berries). I’ve had a persimmon nearly every day since they became new-to-me, that’s just how much I love them.

Alas, much like a worn out cliche of a soap opera plot, my beloved has an evil twin.

I cut my persimmon teeth on the user-friendly Fuyu variety. I say that because you can eat a Fuyu at any stage of ripeness, from firm to very soft. I personally prefer them when they are mostly firm, but just starting to soften. After a few months, I worked up the nerve to buy and try a few Hachiya, which I knew needed to be quite soft and ripe to lose their astringency and be palatable.

I ate my first Hachiya when it was so ripe that it nearly fell apart into pulpy mush when I cut it up. It was very sweet, and good, but not the texture that I prefer. I ate my second Hachiya a few days later, when it was very soft, but not fall-apart soft. The first bite went well…sweet and good. Then cotton mouth attacked.

Yes, this is the unpalatability that they talk about. This is what astringency feels like. Like every surface of every tooth is coated in cotton. It’s not nice, and I don’t recommend it.

I ate my third Hachiya this morning. It was so ripe that it nearly fell apart when I cut it up. First bite…so far so good. Second bite…ahhhhhhhhh! Cotton mouth!

I have two more Hachiya on my fruit counter (yes, we do not have a fruit bowl, we have a whole fruit counter). I’ll eat them…with great trepidation…but then that’s it, I’m sticking to Fuyu. And that’s a strategy I recommend to anyone who doesn’t like to play roulette with their fruit!