Persimmons. They aren’t very popular in America, but everyone eats them in Japan. They are a popular fall-winter fruit. Here’s your fact of the day: the persimmon is Japan’s national fruit! If you’ve never seen one before, well, they kind of look like an orange tomato! But unlike a tomato, you have to peel them. And they are sweet. And they don’t have gooey little seeds in them. So basically they are nothing like a tomato except the outward appearance. Oooh, here’s another fun fact. Did you know that tomatoes and persimmons are both berries?! Yup, Wikipedia just told me. Interesting huh? I knew tomatoes were fruits, but I didn’t know they were berries! And Persimmons grow on trees and seem more plum or peach-ish in that sense, but… berries.
Even though my mom is Japanese, I somehow never had persimmon until I was in 4th or 5th grade. It was during lunch time at my Saturday Japanese school, and my friend had some peeled and cut pieces in her lunch. I was curious and asked her for a piece, and my mom says I came home that day and was like, “why have I never had persimmons?!” and so we occasionally ate persimmons from then on. Good story! I don’t eat them that regularly, but when I saw a box of them at Costco I just had to get it. It’s just… so fall. Yes pumpkins are fall, but eeeeverybody and their mom share pumpkin recipes (actually I have one coming soon too, so…), so I wanted to shine some well deserved light on this less popular fall produce.
When you are picking out persimmons, try and find ones that have a very saturated color. For this recipe we are using Fuyu persimmons, which is the most popular and easily found type here in the USA. Fuyus are a little more forgiving, in that you can eat them when they are still a little firm. We will be stewing the fruit in this recipe, so you don’t have to worry toooo much about it being soft. As a matter of fact, the last time I made it, I had one that was soft and one that was still a little firm.
This recipe uses about 2.5 persimmons, so feel free to snack on half of the ripest one while the cake is baking!