Written by Marianly Hernandez Primmer, Whole Foods Market team member
Customers at Ft. Lauderdale’s Whole Foods Market are faced with what can be a tricky task—picking the right time to eat a persimmon. The fruit has a short season in the fall.
“The redder the better,” says Marcos Albuquerque, who grew up eating persimmons in Brazil, “I used to eat eight [persimmons] in one day. I love them.” He walks up to the register with a fistful of unripe persimmons. He says he will wait until the fruits soften and turn from orange to a bright red color.
Once ripe, the skin will soften and the insides turn jelly-like. Biting into a persimmon should taste juicy and sweet. However, if eaten too early the fruit will taste extremely bitter and create a lip-puckering effect.
There are two popular varieties of persimmons: the Japanese Hachiya and the Fuyu. Both varieties are rich in vitamins A, C and fiber. They are available at Ft. Lauderdale’s Whole Foods Market.
The Hachiya is larger, slightly oval shaped with a pointy bottom. This variety is great for baking and cooking. Persimmon pudding is common in the Midwest with Hachiya persimmon pulp.
The Fuyu persimmon is rounder and flatter. It is slightly less astringent than the Hachiya.
Customer Tali Almagor says she will only eat the Fuyu variety: “This is the best kind.” She tells the cashier at the register she ate Fuyu persimmons all her life in Israel. Tali calls it Sharon fruit which is the more common name in Israel. Tali says she stocks up whenever she spots persimmons at Whole Foods Market.
While some customers mix persimmons in a fruit salad, Heather Valentine eats the fruit like an apple. She simply carves out the top leaf and cuts it in half.
Heather became familiar with the fruit when she spent two years living in Italy. She says she picked the fruit from the persimmon trees in her backyard.
Today she picks them from the display at Whole Foods Market. When she gets home she says she plans to place the persimmons inside a container on top of her refrigerator to achieve a ripe juicy flavor.