Persimmons, a fruit largely produced by China, are also known as feet, caqui in Spanish, or Sharon fruit in Israel. It is important to know the differences between the two most common kinds of persimmons: the Fuyu, the kind you can eat right away, and the Hachiya, the kind you cannot. If you bite into an unripe Hachiya persimmon, here is a good chance that you would never try a persimmon again because it tastes so bitter!
Ripe persimmons have an exceptional flavor and are full of nutrients such as beta-carotene, Vitamin C and potassium. Hachiyas should be deep orange without any green or yellow coloring and when ripe, they should feel a bit squishy. When selecting Fuyu persimmons, look for ones that are yellow-orange in color and firm to the touch. Fuyus will stay firm for two or three weeks at room temperature. Eventually, after about three weeks, they will soften somewhat like the Hachiya. Some people feel the Fuyu’s sweetness reaches its peak at this point. Unlike Hachiyas, Fuyu persimmons can be eaten out of hand like an apple or pear, and there isn’t any need to peel them.
Wondering what kind of winter we will have this year? It is said that one can predict the winter by taking the seeds out of some persimmons and then slicing them. The shape that shows up the most inside each seed will indicate what kind of winter to expect. The three shapes resemble three eating utensils. A Knife shape means there will be a cold icy winter. A Spoon shape means there will be plenty of snow to shovel. A Fork shape means there will be a mild winter.