As seen above, a persimmon looks like a cross between an orange and a tomato. But if you’ve ever tasted a persimmon, you’d know it taste nothing like either. Persimmons are one of the most unique fruits out there, with a candy-like bite, sweet juice, incredible color, and floral aftertastes. While these fruits are not grown-locally in the Northeast, they originate from China and have been cultivated more recently in California and North Carolina.
How to Buy: Look for persimmons that are smooth, brightly colored, plump, glossy, well-rounded and still have their leaf attached. Avoid persimmons that have bruises or yellow patches indicating an unripe fruit.
How to Store: At room temperature until soft and ripe. Refrigerate ripe persimmons up to 3 days
Spiced Persimmon Butter
Ingredients: 8 cloves, 8 allspice, 2 three-inch cinnamons, 4 lbs fuyu persimmons, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 c water, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp salt.
Method: Crack all spices and secure in a cheese cloth tied with string. Add this spice bundle, persimmons, zest, juice and water to a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cover for 30 – 45 minutes. Set aside spice bundle, remove zest, pass the persimmons and their liquid through a food mill. Return spice bundle, persimmon pulp and liquid to the pot and simmer on medium heat. Continue for 2 hours or until the mixture appears thicker and darker in color. Take off heat, remove the spice bundle and stir in maple syrup and salt. Transfer all to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to a month, or follow proper canning instructions to keep for up to a year.