Persimmons have just started out of California with the Fuyu variety. The Fuyu is round with a rather flat top and bottom and should be eaten when hard like an Apple. Both varieties can be cooked with brown sugar as a dessert or served with different types of meat. We should see Haychias very soon.
Most Persimmons must be very soft to be eaten. They are astringent varieties and do not lose their astringency until the fruit becomes soft. If eaten when firm, they will pucker the mouth and cause a very unfavorable reaction!
The Fuyu is a non-astringent variety. It is sweet and delicious when it has become orange to orange-red in color and is still firm. The traditional use of the Fuyu is to eat it out of hand. After harvest, the Fuyu will stay firm two to three weeks if kept at room temperature and will gradually soften like the Hachiya variety. Many people feel it is sweeter at a somewhat spongy stage, so it has a long useable time. Some people use the Fuyu in American persimmon recipes for cookies and pudding.
Persimmons botanically belong to the family Ebenaceae, the ebony family. The Fuyu is of the genus Diospyros, species kaki. Dios means God and pyros means grain or food, hence the reference to persimmons as food for the gods. The Fuyu is an acceptable gift to Buddha.
It is thought the Fuyu originated in China. It has been grown in Asia for many centuries gradually spreading around the world. It is grown and revered in many of the countries of the Orient. You may sometimes hear them referred to as Japanese persimmons or oriental persimmons.