Despite being one of the most vibrant fruits in the market with an excellent taste and texture, Hachiya persimmons are one of the rarest fruits outside Asia with very few countries using it as a necessity in their cuisine. Apart from California, most people around the world are unaware of its use or even their existence as a basic food product that can be cultivated.
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Those who are slightly familiar with Hachiya persimmons are also afraid to include it in their diet because of the awful taste the fruit exhibits when consumed immaturely. Hachiya persimmon is a constantly misunderstood fruit in the world.
Let’s uncover it.
What is Hachiya persimmon and how does it taste?
As a fruit, Hachiya persimmon is a caustic persimmon type of fruit with a bright orange color and a sweet tasty flavor that makes a unique ingredient for making a variety of dishes from baking products to salads. The fruits contain 25g of sugar, honey and raisins as well as apricots that bring about a sweet flavor. You can eat Hachiya persimmon either raw or when cooked but only if it is fully ripe. Immature Hachiya persimmon can leave a bitter taste in your mouth because of 0.80 percent to 1.94 percent of tannins and astringency in the immature fruit.
When is Hachiya persimmon in season in united states
Despite being one of the most popular fruits in East Asia such as Japan, Korea, China and Malaysia as well as one of the rarest fruits consumed around the world, Hachiya persimmons are also quite common in some parts of the United States, especially in California.
Interestingly, Hachiya persimmons are most suitable in the United States between winter and early spring when the fruit has a dull skin and jelly-like texture. At this stage, Hachiya persimmon is quite soft and delicate enough to be considered mature and ready for consumption.
Historically, Hachiya persimmon is considered an ancient fruit that grows on an evergreen tree that sheds its leaves annually. With a botanical classification of Diospyros kaki, Hachiya persimmon is also known to belong to the family, Ebenaceae (Ebony), with over a century of cultivation in ancient China.
Hachiya persimmon is an excellent fruit to include in your diet. A unit contains 22 percent of Vitamin C, 55 percent of Vitamin A, 118 calories as well as 6 grams of fiber. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C strengthens the body’s immune system and reduces inflammation in the body while the fiber helps in improving the digestive system.
Consumption facts: ripening, how to eat, other uses
As mentioned earlier, Hachiya persimmon is an astringent fruit that contains 0.80 percent to 1.94 percent of tannins that make the fruit inedible until it ripens. However, after 6 hours to 8 hours of direct sunlight for a period of 1 year to 3 years, Hachiya persimmon tends to soften its skin and becomes squishy like a balloon indicating it is mature enough for consumption.
Once ripe, the fruit either can be consumed right from the tree or can be added as an ingredient in making dishes and baking items from cakes to making salads. To eat the fruit, simply cut off the leaf and stem portion from the fruit, then open up the Hachiya persimmon using your thumb in two halves. Either scoop out the soft flesh within the fruit or you can simply eat the entire fruit from the skin as long as it is ripe enough.
Cultural facts about Hachiya persimmon
Hachiya persimmons have a fascinating history in Chinese culture that dates back 2,000 years ago. It is considered a symbol of good luck across China. The Chinese also use the symbol of Hachiya persimmon in various designs and shapes as a decoration during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Historical origins of Hachiya persimmon
Despite its widespread use and culturally significant in East Asia, especially in Japan and Korea, Hachiya persimmon was once native to China before the 7th century. However, due to widespread trade and cultural exchange between China and East Asian cultures, the fruit became a necessity in Japan and Korea by the end of the 10th century. Therefore, with a history that stretches back 2,000 years ago, Hachiya persimmon is one of the oldest fruits in modern times.
Hachiya persimmon vs Fuyu persimmon: what’s the difference?
Unlike Hachiya persimmon, Fuyu persimmon is a non-stringent fruit, meaning it does not have an awful taste like Hachiya persimmon fruit when consumed immaturely. Although Hachiya persimmon is known to soften its skin and become squishy like a balloon when ripe, Fuyu persimmon has a crispy texture with a doughnut-shaped appearance. Similar to acorns, Hachiya persimmon has a curved appearance with broad shoulders shaped like a doughnut.
How do you eat hachiya persimmons?
First, remove the stem and leaf from Hachiya persimmon fruit and extract the soft flesh inside the fruit. Apply the jelly-like flesh either on your dish or baking product and begin preparing your preferred meal. Alternatively, you can choose to directly eat the scooped out jelly-like flesh and enjoy the fruit’s delicious taste.
Which is better, hachiya or fuyu persimmon?
Depending on your taste, Hachiya persimmon and Fuyu persimmon are both good fruits with a healthy nutritional value. However, unlike fuyu persimmon, hachiya persimmon can be used to prepare a variety of dishes from baking cakes to preparing oatmeal in the kitchen.
Is it safe to eat unripe hachiya persimmon?
As compared to other persimmon varieties, it is not advisable to consume Hachiya persimmon when unripe because of the inedible skin that contains between 0.8 percent to 1.94 percent of tannins that give the fruit a bitter taste. Moreover, unripe hachiya persimmon can cause gastric obstruction in your body because of bezoar formation as a result of too many tannins, indigestible plant material and stomach acid. Therefore, unripe Hachiya persimmon is not good for your health until ripe.
What does hachiya persimmon taste like?
Hachiya persimmon is a very sweet and jelly-like fruit with a hint of honey, cinnamon, apple and apricot. If you have a good sense of taste, you can also detect a slight taste of mango and brown sugar when ripe.