Orange Alert: It's Persimmon Time!

September 30, 2015 | Posted by The B-Team

Gorgeously vibrant, orange-hued persimmons are the perfect color for a fall tablescape. But what do to with these autumnal beauties beyond piling them in a bowl for a centerpiece? We've devised a handful of ways to easily enjoy these underappreciated fall fruits (and not just as eye candy).

There are two varieties of persimmons readily available: Fuyu and Hachiya. Both are round-ish and, well, persimmon-colored, but that is where the similarities end. They're worlds apart in texture and flavor.

Fuyu is mellower in color and flavor, with crisp skin and a firm texture. It can be eaten like an apple – skin and all. Try them thinly sliced in a chicory salad with hazelnuts and blue cheese...

...wrapped in prosciutto, or even roasted along with root vegetables.

You can also find Fuyu persimmons sliced and dried. Add the dried fruit to granola, or just keep it stowed away as a midday snack. Another trick: dice the dried fruit and simmer it with a little water, honey and a vanilla bean. Muddle the compote with a few dashes of Angostura bitters, top it with few ounces of rye whiskey, and voila -- you have your new signature fall cocktail! The compote is also a great addition to cheese plate.

The more oblong and brilliantly colored Hachiya persimmon is astringent and unpalatable if not left to fully ripen. I once read that a perfectly ripened Hachiya feels like a water balloon, which is an odd and totally spot-on in description. When fully ripe, the flesh becomes spoonable and creamy in texture. I have taken to spreading it on buttered toast to start the morning...

...and stirring into yogurt for breakfast or a simple dessert. If you're looking to add a vibrant twist to your Thanksgiving traditions, puree the flesh and a make a pie (see ya, pumpkin!), or fold it into cranberry sauce. Go forth and persimmon!