The Lovely Persimmon

Welcoming Fuyu Persimmons from Barnes Farming in Spring Hope, NC.


Fuyu Persimmons have been cultivated for over a millennium in Asian countries, where they have long been an important fruit crop.  Asian type persimmons, such as the Fuyu, were first introduced to the United States in 1856 by Commander M.C. Perry. Commander Perry, who brought the seeds back from an American naval fleet visit to Japan, unfortunately, none of the seeds planted upon the return made it to maturity. Soon after this first attempt, the U.S. Department of Agriculture imported seeds from a variety of different Asian persimmons, including the Fuyu, from Asia.

Fuyu persimmons are short, squat and are shaped much like tomatoes. When they are orange, they’re ripe and can be eaten like an apple, no need to peel them. Their taste has been described as a cross between mango, peach & plum, with an infusion of honey.  Fuyu persimmons will keep for months stored in a dry, dark, cool place. If set on a counter to ripen, eventually they will soften a bit. Fuyu persimmons can be kept at room temperature, but if preferred, can be refrigerated. Do not store persimmons near apples or other ethylene-producing fruits, as they are ethylene sensitive and will ripen and spoil quickly.

Fuyu persimmons are wonderful to eat raw alongside a charcuterie tray with soft fresh cheeses like mozzarella or mascarpone with walnuts and hazelnuts. Persimmons, in general, are holiday fruits. Cooked down and pureed, Fuyu can be used to make persimmon cakes, bread, puddings, ice cream, and pie filling.  These little beauties also make a perfect addition to a fruit or green salad.  

Persimmons are full of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. They’re rich in vitamin A precursor beta-carotene (no surprises there given their bright orange color), vitamin C, and potassium. Eating persimmons can help you maintain a healthy immune system, reduce inflammation, neutralize cancer-causing free radicals, and lower blood pressure.