Persimmons are a delicious orange fruit that can be a wonderful addition to many dishes. Understanding when a permission is ripe is extremely important to harness that incredible taste.
How to tell when a persimmon is ripe? Ripe persimmons are a reddish orange. How soft they should be will depend on the variety. Unripe persimmons are extremely sour and unpleasant, so it’s important to be able to tell when a persimmon is ripe. They don’t all ripen at the same time, but you can usually tell because the fruits will change color and become softer when they are ready to eat.
What Should a Ripe Persimmon Look Like?
A ripe persimmon should be a deep orange, on the red side of the scale. There are a couple of different varieties of persimmon. The hachiya persimmon is acorn-shaped, longer and thinner than the huyu persimmon.
The huyu persimmon is like a large tomato that has been somewhat squashed. They are sometimes paler, although many are bright orange. Hachiya persimmons will always be deep orange when they are ripe.
Until they are orange, persimmons aren’t ripe, and this is one of the best indications that they are ready, or almost ready, to eat. However, color isn’t the only clue you’ll get about whether this fruit is ready for you to enjoy it yet – there’s also the feel of the fruit.
What Should a Ripe Persimmon Feel Like?
For this, you’ll need to know if you’re holding a hachiya or a huyu persimmon. If it’s a hachiya, it should feel very soft – squeeze with care, or you may puncture its flesh!
You can cut a ripe hachiya persimmon open and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. You will probably find it tricky to chop up, because it will be too soft to easily handle – so don’t attempt it. The skin can also be eaten, though it is usually used in sauces or smoothies.
A huyu persimmon will feel much firmer when you squeeze it, but it won’t be rock hard like an unripe persimmon. The flesh should have a bit of give, and this is enough to know that it’s ripe and ready to eat.
Huyu persimmons may become a bit softer if you leave them for a few days, but there’s no real benefit to doing this; their flavor won’t change.
Many people slice huyu persimmons into segments to enjoy. You do not need to peel them, but some people prefer to. They can be eaten as a snack alone, or added to meals, salads, or desserts for your enjoyment.
A huyu persimmon that feels squishy has gone past its best, and may not taste good. Like many fruits, it will start to turn to mush as it decomposes, so you should be careful if your huyu persimmon seems easy to squash. It should be firm and easy to peel or cut without mushing.
What Should a Ripe Persimmon Taste Like?
A ripe persimmon should be a sweet, enjoyable treat. They are sometimes described as plum-like, or having the flavor of honey. Their flesh is pleasantly firm, and they have quite a unique taste overall.
If your persimmon tastes sour, it isn’t ready to eat yet – and it might taste very sour indeed! These fruits aren’t ultra sweet even once they are ripe, so unripe, they are an unpleasant experience!
If your persimmon tastes alcoholic and is mushy, it’s probably gone bad. Don’t eat it, but try to check for ripeness earlier next time.
How to Get Persimmons to Ripen Faster?
You might be impatiently waiting to eat your persimmon, but it just won’t ripen. Firstly, keep unripe persimmons on the counter, as keeping them in the fridge may slow down their ripening process considerably.
You can try putting your persimmon in a warm spot, but don’t let it get too hot. This may affect the texture, and could cause the fruit to dry out. A warm area of the kitchen should be sufficient to encourage ripening.
Next, think about storing a few bananas alongside it, or even in a bag with it. The banana releases a chemical that encourages fruits to ripen, which is why you should never store bananas in your fruit bowl – you’ll reduce the life span of all your fruits!
However, they can be really helpful when you want to speed up the ripening process, so try putting a bunch of bananas in a bag with your persimmon, and you’ll find it’s ripe and ready to eat much more quickly.
Do remember to check on your persimmon daily if you use this trick. The bananas will increase the ripening speed, but they will keep doing this, so your persimmon won’t keep well in the same bag. As soon as it’s ripe, remove it and either eat it or store it somewhere else.
How to Store a Ripe Persimmon?
If you have a ripe persimmon that you aren’t ready to eat, the best thing to do with it (apart from keeping it away from bananas, of course!) is to put it in the fridge.
The cool air should help to slow down the process that makes the fruit continue with its ripening cycle, and should hopefully make it pause at that “ready to eat” moment for a little longer.
However, ripe persimmons won’t keep for more than about three days, even in the fridge. If you store a ripe persimmon on the counter, you may find that it’s past its best in just a couple of days, possibly only one!
If you’ve got ripe persimmons, it’s important to keep an eye on them and make a conscious plan to use them up quickly so that they don’t go to waste.
A persimmon that has gone a little squishy may still be suitable to cook with, even if it’s not so nice to eat raw. Consider including a persimmon in a fruity dessert, and you may still get to enjoy these delicious things.
A persimmon is ripe when it has its deep orange color and the skin has a slight softness (for hachiya persimmons) or plenty of softness (for huyu persimmons). If in doubt, slice off a small amount of the fruit and taste it; a ripe persimmon should taste pleasant and sweet, not sour or bitter.