My dad had a persimmon tree when I was a kid. Of course, I thought they were terrible and wouldn’t dare eat them but at some point, I started to love them. In Missouri, we could find wild persimmons in the woods but the deer loved them too so it was a battle for us humans to get them before the deer did.
If you aren’t familiar with persimmons, there are two main types – astringent and non-astringent. For the astringent variety, if eaten before they are fully ripe, you would probably never eat another persimmon for the rest of your life. They contain a high level of tannin, which makes them quite bitter and they seem to coat your mouth with a nasty feeling that just won’t go away! Yuck! Therefore, astringent varieties have to be so darned ripe that they’re almost mushy before they’re fit to eat. They’re great for making cakes, cookies, pudding and the like. The one my dad had when I was a kid must have been an astringent variety because those persimmons caused lots of puckering! As kids, we always wanted to try one but one little bite had us vowing to never eat another persimmon. Mom would make cookies with them after they were mushy ripe and those were great.
The non-astringent variety is what we like most. They don’t have to be mushy ripe before they’re good. In fact, the best time to eat them, in my opinion, is when they’re crispy . . kinda crunchy like an apple, but sweet like a juicy pear.
We planted one persimmon tree, a non-astringent Fuyu, and will plant more but I noticed over the weekend that our tree is blooming. Here’s a little more info about them.
I had no idea what persimmon blossoms look like and had to google it to be sure this is really a persimmon. Not sure what I was expecting it to look like but it wasn’t this. If you look at the picture on this page, you’ll see that our blossoms look pretty correct. It’s a pretty massive blossom compared to peaches, pears and apricot blooms.
I hope this means we’ll get at least a few persimmons this year.