Late October to early November is the season for both persimmons and pomegranates, which we received in our CSA box this week. You can get them at most supermarkets, but if you live anywhere near where they are grown, it’s best to get them at a local farmer’s market.
Pomegranates are an outstanding source of Vitamins C, K and folate, and a good source of potassium, phosphorus and manganese. They are also loaded with polyphenol antioxidants which help protect against heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
At the farmer’s market, you are most likely to find the ripest pomegranates, which are the ones whose peels are beginning to crack open. If you are unfamiliar with how to open and remove the seeds from a pomegranate, learn how to do it here.
The persimmon fruit grows on trees, and its color typically varies from yellowish orange to a deeper reddish orange color. It comes in various shapes and sizes, and there are a number of varieties originating in North America, Mexico, and Philippines.
Persimmon is a delicious fruit that is high in Vitamins A, C, and E, and is a good source of potassium and manganese. Unfortunately, persimmons are not enjoyed as much as they should be, because many people don’t know how to eat them. If you try to eat them before they are ripe, they are terribly bitter and astringent, but after ripening, they have a delicate, custardy sweetness I look forward to every autumn.
Persimmon Varieties and Selection
The Fuyu persimmon looks a bit like a squashed tomato, and it is the least astringent persimmon. Wash and dry the fruit thoroughly before eating. Remove the leaves and the core of the fruit. Cut into slices, or if you prefer, eat it whole, like an apple.
The Hachiya persimmon is usually shaped like an acorn, and it can be terrible astringent if unripe. Wash and dry the fruit. Place it on the cutting board, and cut it in half. After removing the seeds, use a spoon to scoop the fruit from the skin.
The farm market is also the best place to find ripe persimmons. Knowing which persimmon is the ripest is a vital part of the full enjoyment of the fruit. Here are some tips to remember when shopping for persimmon:
- Look for persimmons that have undertones of deep red.
- Be sure your persimmons are plump and round.
- Stay away from fruit with skin that is cracked or bruised.
- Avoid persimmons without their green leaves.
- The surface of a persimmon should be smooth and glossy.
- If you are not eating the fruit right away, choose a firmer fruit and allow it to ripen until you are ready to eat it.
Pomegranates and persimmons should taking their healthy, delicious place in your fall palate of seasonal foods. I hope you enjoy this salad that highlights the best of both of them.
- 3 fuyu persimmons peeled and chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces)
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 Fuji apple peeled and chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces)
- 7-10 fresh mint leaves thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tsps. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. raw honey
- Carefully toss all of the ingredients together.
- Best if eaten the same day it is made, but will keep in the fridge for a few days.