Fruit sales in the UK have more than doubled over the past year. What attracts you – and what is the best way to eat it?
Our fruit vases are becoming more and more interesting. Having taken kiwi, mango, and pomegranate, we now seem to be infatuated with persimmons. Supermarkets including Asda said sales of yellow-orange, usually tomato-based fruit more than doubled last year to over 4 million, making them the country’s best-selling exotic fruit.
The persimmon sometimes called the Sharon fruit (a somewhat unfortunate name given to one of its varieties by Israeli producers), deserves praise. Persimmons are rich in beta-carotene and minerals like sodium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, and studies have shown that they also contain twice as much fiber per 100g as apples, as well as more phenolic compounds thought to prevent heart diseases.
It also tastes delicious if you know what you are buying and eating it at the right time. Currently grown primarily in China, Korea, and Japan, but with varieties also found in America, southern Europe, and even Britain (where, known as the date plum, has been cultivated since 1629), there are two main varieties. Types of persimmons: tart, often called khachiya persimmon, and non-knitting, or fuyu.
You need to know what you are dealing with: while the non-astringent varieties can be eaten, firm and crunchy, while the barely ripe, astringent – rich, sweet, spicy – remain tart until fully ripe. Fortunately, it is not difficult to determine when the khachiya is ripe, and this process can take several weeks: it must be so soft that it’s sweet, almost jelly-like flesh practically breaks through the skin. (You can speed up ripening by leaving the persimmons in a paper bag along with the apple, which produces extra ethylene to soften the fruit.)
When it comes to eating them, fresh fuyus are usually hard enough to be cut and chewed like an apple (peel them if you like, but the skin is edible); they are well suited for salads or roasting in pies and cakes. On the other hand, Hachi is too soft to bite off without creating a mess: it is better to cut them in half and spoon the pulp or use them in jams or compotes. When it comes to eating them, fresh fuyus is usually firm enough to be cut and chewed like an apple (peel them if you like, but the skin is edible); they are well suited for salads or roasting in pies and cakes. On the other hand, khaki is too soft to bite off without creating a mess: it is better to cut them in half and spoon them into the pulp or use them in jams or compotes. Contact us for guest posting services.