With the coming of the autumn, it's time for the persimmon to be ripe. A farmer in a village of Yinzhou District is picking the fruit from the persimmon tree in his garden.
These fruits are delicious when eaten ripe. Unripe persimmons taste "astringent."Typically, below four ways are use to select a "perfect" Persimmon
Examine the shape. Its shape is usually enough to identify persimmons sold in Western countries. Nibble cautiously if this is your only guideline, especially in East Asia where there are many varieties with all sorts of shapes.
Most sweet persimmons are squat with a flat base, similar in shape to a tomato. Some have slight indented lines running from the stem to the base, while others are smooth.
Most astringent persimmons are longer and taper to a blunt point, similar in shape to an oversize acorn.
Check the variety name. In the West, persimmons are sold under just two names. Fuyu persimmons are sweet (non-astringent), and are eaten when firm. Hachiya persimmons are astringent when unripe, and can only be eaten when completely soft. Some stores in East Asia will distinguish between many more types:
Other sweet varieties include Jiro, Izu, Hanagosho, Midia, Suruga, and Shogatsu, plus any variety ending in "Maru," "Jiro" or "Fuyu."
There are dozens of astringent varieties. Tanenashi, Eureka, Tamopan, and Gailey are a few of the most common. When in doubt, assume the fruit is astringent.
Look for defects or special shapes. If you're still stuck, the shape or growth pattern of the fruit can provide hints. Many persimmons won't have these distinguishing marks, but it's worth a look:
American persimmons or "possum apples" are native to the eastern United States. These are typically very small and harvested from wild trees. These are astringent.
A persimmon with four sides to it is astringent.
A persimmon with concentric rings around the flower end (which looks like leaves) is probably astringent.
A persimmon with cracks near the flower end is usually sweet, or a rotten fruit of either type.
Consider special varieties. A few varieties have special characteristics to consider:
Triumph persimmons (also called Sharon fruit) often taste sweet when sold commercially, due to special treatment. Straight from the tree, this is an astringent variety. (And be careful ¡ª in some regions, all persimmons are called Sharon fruit.)
Some varieties are astringent if the inside is seedless and light-colored. They transform into sweet, seeded, dark flesh if pollinated. These include Chocolate, Giombo, Hyakume, Nishimura Wase, Rama Forte, and Luiz de Queiroz varieties.
Hiratanenashi persimmons, common in Japan, can stay astringent even when soft and ripe. Proper handling prevents this, so buy from a vendor you trust.