Sweet, fruity, and delicious in jam, muesli, vegetable pans, or cakes – the aromatic fruits from Asia are now also grown and enjoyed in Europe. But how do you eat a kaki correctly? Is the persimmon peel edible? And what else should you pay attention to when enjoying the sweet fruit?
What is a persimmon?
A persimmon is the orange-colored fruit of the persimmon tree, which has been cultivated and processed in China for over 2000 years. There are different varieties and cultivated forms of persimmons. You can also find Sharon fruit in German supermarkets. Originally grown in Israel’s fertile Sharon Plains, it has a thinner skin and is seedless and sweeter than the traditional persimmon. If you buy kakis in Germany, they usually come from China, Spain, Italy, and South America.
Tip: Persimmon contains vitamin B, provitamin A, and vitamin C – and is therefore healthy for your eyes and nerves and strengthens your immune system.
With or without a shell?
It actually depends on the variety. In German supermarkets, you can usually find the longer, edible persimmon from Spain, Rojo Brillante, all year round. Their peel is edible but should be washed thoroughly beforehand. Ultimately, however, it is a matter of taste whether you want to enjoy them with or without the skin, as the skin is sometimes thick and hard, which can reduce the enjoyment.
However, the Federal Center for Nutrition recommends not eating the skin of the Italian variety “Kaki Tipo”, as it contains bitter substances and is inedible. For example, you can halve this fruit like a kiwi and then spoon it out, but the persimmon should be ripe enough for this. With the Sharon fruit, you can eat the peel, it is thinner and contains less bitter substances.
Is my persimmon ripe?
A ripe persimmon is a deep orange to slightly reddish and the juicy flesh shimmers through the thin skin. If it is ripe enough, the flesh can be dented slightly, similar to a tomato. During the purchase you should consider whether you want to eat them right away – then it’s better to grab the Sharon. At home, the persimmon still has to ripen for a few days or weeks.
Ripe pulp is sweet and fruity and soft like jelly. However, your kaki should not have brown spots, these are a sign of overripeness. Unripe, on the other hand, the fruit is hard, contains a lot of bitter substances, especially on the skin, and you have a furry taste on your tongue after eating because of the tannins.
How do you eat persimmon?
Would you like to enjoy your fruit with peel:
- wash them thoroughly beforehand and then rub them dry
- if the fruit is ripe and the skin is thin and clean, you can simply bite into your persimmon
- remove the carpels
- Halve the persimmons and cut each half into 2 to 4 pieces
- the light, soft stalk in the middle can be eaten
Would you like to enjoy your fruit without the peel:
- halve your persimmons
- simply spoon out the two halves, similar to a kiwi
- peel your persimmons
- enjoy them sliced/chunked or bite into them like you would an apple
Persimmon can be used in many ways: the sweet fruit tastes great as jam on your bread roll, refines your breakfast muesli or fruit salad, and is also a treat in a smoothie. But it can also transform many warm dishes into an exotic taste experience: as an ingredient in your Asian stir-fry, on duck breast, or in a fruity sauce.