Persimmons resemble apples or tomatoes and are orange in color. Persimmons have an orange tomato-like appearance, with some having a flattened oval shape. Persimmons with an acorn shape, similar to an apple, are also available. The edible orange skin of all types of persimmons is what distinguishes them.
The astringent and non-astringent types of persimmons are separated into two groups. If you don’t eat ripe astringent persimmons, such as the Hachiya, they’ll leave your mouth dry and puckery. Because they are juicy and sweet, non-astringent persimmons like the Fuyu and Jiro cultivars are delicious to consume right from the tree.
You must wait until persimmons are completely ripe before you can enjoy eating astringent types. After it has been picked, this usually necessitates leaving it in a persimmon “puckering” for several days to develop. When the flesh of astringent persimmons becomes extremely soft, you can tell when they are sweet and ready to eat. Next, without your lips puckering up and becoming dry, you can bite into the succulent fruit.
Types of Persimmons (With Pictures and Names)
Knowing the different types of persimmon and how to choose the best, sweetest, and juiciest persimmon can help you decide. Persimmon that has been allowed to mature completely becomes sweet and soft. Did you know that persimmon cultivars come in over 400 different types? Let’s take a closer look at the various types of persimmons, including the chocolate persimmon and cinnamon persimmon, which are both unique.
Japanese (Oriental) Persimmon
An astringent variety of persimmon is found in Japan (Diospyros kaki). Fuyu or Sharon fruit, which are non-astringent, are examples of Diospyros kaki cultivars. Non-astringent Oriental persimmons have a spherical flattened form with a thin shell-like skin that covers it. These fruits have been compared to orange tomatoes by some.
Before they mature, Japanese persimmons, or Oriental persimmons, have a high tannin content. The bitter and astringent nature of the orange fibrous flesh is due to this. Yet, as the fruit progresses and levels of tannins diminish, the flavor becomes milder and less bitter, with no astringency. As a result, allow Japanese persimmons to ripen for a few days to avoid the unpleasant taste in your mouth. You may enjoy the rich honey-like, juicy flavor of a mature persimmon when the flesh softens.
The non-astringent Fuyu persimmon is a cultivar of Japanese persimmon that is quite sweet. Fuyu persimmons (Diospyros kaki ‘Fuyu’) are one of the most popular types of persimmons sold in stores because of their sweetness and lack of astringency. Amagaki (literally “sweet persimmon”) is the Japanese name for these sweet persimmon species.
The squat, tomato-like form and vivid orange color of a Fuyu persimmon distinguish it. You may eat the flesh of this persimmon variety while it’s still firm, and it will not pucker. Fuyu persimmons have an oblate, almost 4-sided form instead of a spherical form like an apple.
The large, deep-orange fruits are seldom seedless and may grow up to 2.75 inches (7 cm) in diameter. Sweet firm flesh gradually becomes softer, almost gelatinous, as Fuyu persimmons mature. The fruit’s lack of tannins, however, results in a sweet taste when consumed.
Some people describe ripe Fuyu persimmons as having a date-like flavor with the intensity of apricots. You can purchase Fuyu dwarf persimmon trees if you reside in a warm region with frost-free winters. In the autumn, these little fruit-producing trees produce a profusion of luscious sweet fruits.
Giant Fuyu Persimmon
When you see and sample a Giant Fuyu (Gosho) persimmon, it’s not difficult to understand why they’re known as the “fruit of the deities.” One of the darkest persimmon varieties, with a thick orange skin that gets much redder as it matures. When you cut into it, the tannin-free firm flesh tastes wonderfully sweet.
Regular Fuyu fruits are around half the size of this huge Japanese persimmon variety. The Giant Fuyu has a strong sweet flavor that some compare to sweet apricots or dates with sugar cane, in comparison to some other types of astringent-free persimmons.
The Jiro persimmon (Diospyros kaki ‘Jiro’) is a non-astringent Japanese persimmon variety. The fruit is sweet and has few tannins, so it may be consumed right away. Jiro persimmons are another kind of Japanese persimmon that has a comparable form to Fuyu fruits.
With light green leaves on the top of the fruit, they look like a firm orange tomato. The Jiro persimmon is very sweet, so biting into its firm flesh won’t make your lips puckery. Jiros is known as the “Apple persimmon” because it can be eaten when it’s firm since it isn’t astringent. You may, however, make delicious snacks using this delicious fruit in combination with savory foods.
Another Japanese cultivar that is sweet and doesn’t have any astringency is Imoto persimmons. The squat shape of these non-astringent persimmons is comparable to that of Fuyu and Jiro persimmons. Their skin becomes a deeper reddish-brown rather than a vivid orange color when it is ripe. They are, nevertheless, as delectable as Fuyu and Jiro fruits when the flesh is still firm to eat.
Izu persimmon is a tiny orange fruit that resembles a tomato or pumpkin. The non-astringent type of Asian persimmon cultivars is wonderfully sweet and delightful. These “kaki” fruits, like Fuyu and Jiro persimmons, are sweet when the flesh is still firm. Their palatable skin becomes a rich orange color while their edible flesh becomes pale orange.
Only when ripe should you consume the Hachiya Persimmon, a kind of astringent persimmon with an oblong shape. In comparison to Fuyu or Jiro persimmons, these are huge persimmon fruits. The Hachiya persimmon has an oblong heart-shaped form when compared to the flattened Fuyu types. When you eat it, it has a strong flavor due to the high concentration of tannic acid. However, the delicate gelatinous orange meat is full and succulent, with no hint of bitterness, once fully mature.
You should leave persimmons purchased at the supermarket for a few days to ripen if you want to get these huge selections. Tannin concentrations decline as they age, while sugar concentrations rise. It is time to appreciate the heavenly sweetness of the flesh when it feels very soft. You can store persimmon in a paper bag beside bananas to speed up their ripening into an astringent type. The green top of the Hachiya should easily come away when you gently pull it to test if it’s sweet enough to eat.
Hyakume Persimmon (Cinnamon Persimmon)
The Hyakume persimmon is a sort of non-astringent persimmon that has an oblong form. This is an orange tomato-like fruit that originated in Japan and is non-astringent. The Hyakume is also known as the Cinnamon persimmon because of the brown specks strewn throughout the brilliant orange flesh.
Even when firm, the flesh of the Hyakume persimmon is highly sweet. The intense sweetness comes out when the orange-skinned Asian fruit is ripe, however. The flavor of the persimmon flesh has a brown sugar-like taste, and the soft ripe flesh takes on a light cinnamon color.
The sweetest variety of Hyakume persimmon, however, is the type that contains seeds. This persimmon cultivar’s seedless variants may have a bitter and astringent taste that is more intense. Cinnamon persimmons are said to have a Fuyu and Hyachiya flavor, according to some. They have the shape of Hyachiyas and the exquisite flavor of Fuyu kaki fruits.
Sharon Fruit (Triumph Persimmon)
The Sharon fruit, or Triumph persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.), is a popular sweet non-astringent persimmon. They’re also known as hurma in certain countries. Sharon fruits are ovoid in shape and have a squat appearance, similar to a large tomato. The crisp, edible skin of these persimmon fruits looks a lot like an apple.
The fruit is seedless and coreless, so you can eat it in its entirety apart from the stem and leaves on top. The persimmon variety known as Sharon fruit grows on the Sharon Plains in Israel, and its name comes from there.
Other Types of Non-Astringent Japanese Persimmons
Sweet persimmon fruits come in a wide range of colors and sizes. When you bite into one of these sweet Asian persimmons, it won’t pucker:
- Yeddo-ich The seedless sweet persimmon has dark brown sweet flesh and is typically seeded.
- Hanafuyu If they are hard or soft, persimmons are oblong in shape and have a sweet flavor.
- Suruga With no traces of astringent tannins, persimmon is a high-quality sort of sweet fruit.
- Shotgatsu A mildly sweet persimmon with flattened, doughnut-shaped leaves.
Before it ripens, the American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a kind of astringent persimmon that grows in the Southern United States. Sugar plums, possum apples, and ordinary persimmons are other names for American persimmons. The American persimmon is also known as the ‘date-plum’ by some people, however it’s a different kind of sweet Oriental persimmon variety.
Orange-yellow fruits up to 2.5″ (6 cm) in diameter are produced by the Diospyros virginiana tree. You’ll have to wait until the plump orange fruit has ripened completely before you can eat it, as with all astringent types of persimmons. The fruit, on the other hand, will take on a mushy texture if you leave it to ripen for too long. It will be difficult to eat. These persimmons have an oblong form that resembles an orange apple and are known for their astringency.
Maru (Chocolate Persimmon)
The Maru variety (also known as Chocolate persimmon) is a kind of persimmon with orange skin that is astringent when unripe, but brown and sweet when fully ripe. Smaller-sized oblong persimmons are astringent until ripe and resemble Hachiya fruits. The rich brown sweet flesh in the succulent fruit gives the chocolate persimmon cultivar its name.
These Asian persimmon cultivars are very sweet, but not excessively so. Some people claim that when they eat the soft, dark flesh, it has nutmeg undertones. Therefore, do not assume that the flesh is spoiled or off because it looks dark brown. You’ll be missing out on a tasty treat if you don’t.
Black Sapote (Chocolate Pudding Fruit)
Black sapote (Diospyros nigra) is a kind of tomato-like persimmon that grows in Mexico, Central America, and South America when fully ripe. It has a rich chocolate pudding texture and flavor. When unripe, the fruits are astringent and inedible, measuring 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter.
Black sapote skin has an olive green color when fresh, but turns yellow-green when mature. It is inedible. When unripe, the pulp is white and contains seeds. The pulp, however, turns chocolate in color when the fruit is completely mature. Chocolate pudding fruit, black soapapple, and zapote prieto (in Spanish) are some of the names for the black sapote persimmon. The color, viscosity, and taste of the chocolate pudding fruit resemble chocolate pudding when ripe.
The Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana) is one of the most unusual types of persimmons. It has little black fruits when mature. When mature, these persimmon fruits, which are little black spheres with a diameter of 1.5–2.5 cm, have an unusual sweet flavor.
The Texas persimmon is also known as Mexican persimmon or chapote manzano (in Spanish) among other names. These black fruits, like other persimmons, are mildly astringent when fully mature. They are sweet and good enough to eat off the tree when the green fruit turns deep purple or black. The tiny fruits contain a plethora of seeds, unlike other sweet persimmon fruits.
Velvet Apple Persimmon
Another unusual kind of tropical persimmon fruit is Velvet Apple persimmons (Diospyros discolor or Diospyros blancoi), which have a hairy inedible skin and large seeds. The Korean mango is the name given to this persimmon species. Velvet Apple persimmons are mostly unknown outside of Asia since they only grow and are eaten there. Until it becomes completely ripe, the fruit is quite astringent. These fruits have velvety skin and come in a variety of colors, unlike other Asian persimmons.
Velvet Apples (also known as velvet persimmons) have white flesh in general. The seeds in the heart are numerous, hence each fruit provides little food. One of the few types of persimmon that doesn’t have edible skin is velvet persimmons. If you eat it, the hairy coat gives off a strong cheese-like odor that may cause discomfort. You must also remove the skin and seeds before eating the sweet meat to avoid bitterness.
Date-Plum Persimmon (Caucasian Persimmon)
The Date-Plum persimmon (Diospyros lotus) is one of the smallest persimmon types. The tiny orange fruits from the Diospyros lotus tree are only 0.4″ to 0.8″ (1 to 2 cm) in diameter. The Caucasian persimmon or the lilac persimmon are two names for the Date-plum persimmon. This persimmon species originated in East Asia and is now found throughout the Mediterranean as well as the United States.
If you eat it before it’s ripe, this is an astringent persimmon that will make your mouth dry. The tiny persimmon fruits have a rich sweet flavor similar to dates and plums when they are soft and fully mature. When the cherry-sized fruits turn a dark purple plum color, it’s time to know if these types of persimmons are ripe.