Yes, I am back and as I had promised last Friday, while battling the notorious cold that has been taken a round here locally, I prepared an informative post about the Persimmon fruit. No idea what this fruit is? Well, you are at the right place, because some time back I myself didn’t know about the existence of the fruit. Recently, this fruit has been available in the local markets in Goa, India. Any time I discover a new edible fruit, I bring it back home to test and research about it. The Goan markets are stuffed with barley known and extremely rare fruits, that have been used since ages by local people here, but which have been overlooked by the commercial mega markets all along. Sometimes it does happen that some fruits, vegetables and spices have no proper use, because for example they are too bitter or because the taste simply sucks.
However, this time its not the case with the Persimmon. This fruit is pretty new to the local market and I believe the sale idea of the fruit must have been picked up recently by some big time company here in India, because all of a sudden its all over the place! I am not exaggerating, in fact each and every single small vegetable shop is selling it recently, while last year it wasn’t available so freely (otherwise I would have reported about it much earliere). Yet I have heard some people say that it has been around for the past two years, in Goa at least.
Obviously i was super curious and decided to start a recipe testing session. The first thing that came in my mind,… Can you guess it? A Persimmon Tart (how could it be otherwise, I am in a Tart phase)! I made it 3 times since I got the fruit, so its a pretty much new recipe but it’s tested, so I guarantee that you will succeed with the desired flavors and textures here, because you know my dear readers, my recipes are genuine, original and of quality. As always I have provided my easy to follow visual step by step pictures, so to guide you, in making your own home made Persimmon Tart. Yet, before we get to the recipe, I took some time to fish out some interesting quick knowledge about the fruit itself.
There are a couple of different Persimmons types (the fruit is also widely known as Kaki), such as the Hachiya, Fuyu, American Persimmon and Sharon Fruit. There are even more varieties and I think so Wikipedia has the best info about the different types online. I am not going to go any closer in the single variations, simply because I have only come across 2 types till date, so honestly I wouldn’t dare to write anything about the others! What I have realized is that some types have that bitter astringent end note flavor in the mouth. I am telling you, really ugly! The Hachiya is one of them and that’s the type the most common around. So why would somebody sell a fruit that has such an ugly after taste, giving a puckery feeling and sticking your teeth full with a layer of god knows something? The answer is simple, the fruit I had tasted first, wasn’t ripe enough, and again thanks to my dear Facebook, Twitter and Google+ food enthusiast friends, who clarified that point and shared some valuable information with the social networks community! You are awesome! <3
So the solution was to give the Hachiya Persimmon some more time to ripe well. The Fuyu on the other hand (flat at the bottom) doesn’t have that sticky, astringent tannin “problem”, so that’s why it can be eaten before it gets mushy, overriped. The Hachiya (as shown on the photo below) needs to be super mushy soft and ripe, if it cracked, it is ready. Some people even suggested to keep it on the tree (the Persimmon tree) and to harvest it only once its mushy over ripe soft.
If you have a a couple of red but not completely ripened Hachiya Persimmons around and you d like to use them soon, then you can simply keep them to ripe right next to some bananas, until the skin cracks. That should accelerate the whole ripening process! The Hachiya Persimmon, as used in this recipe, are mostly consumed in cakes instead of eating them just simply raw. The fruit itself reminds me a bit of a cross between tomato, mango and pumpkin, so when you take your first bite you get surprised by the fresh flavor punch. It’s bright red/orange when fully ripe and it contains a jelly like seed case inside. I usually discard that jelly like thing, I feel weird chewing on it, as if it was some raw Bombay duck fish. lol I further got rid of the skin since I don’t know how they treated the fruit and anyway the fruits here have some dark spot that look like “bruises”. For more preparation tips, just follow the recipe instructions below!