Saturday, December 12, 2009
I fell in love after second bite. With a persimmon. I have been seeing this fruit in groceries and I've always been curious about how it tastes. I'm always in the hunt for new stuff to eat, so persimmons easily became a new target.
I came across these fruits in our recent trip to Binondo. They were all around. I think the Chinese love them because just like ponkans, they are round and orange, signifying prosperity.
A kilo of persimmons weren't very expensive, only around ~150 or so but I wasn't very sure about how they taste like so I picked out only a couple of them. I chose Fuyu and a Hachiya. The picture up top is a Fuyu. Fuyus are squat and look like small pumpkins and Hachiyas are elongated. They look like very orange chicos. I thought that they just tasted the same thing and can be eaten the same way, however, that isn't the case.
The chinese dude who was selling the persimmons raised an eyebrow at my meager buy and asked if I would like to get more. I told him that I will if I like it and he cut up a Fuyu and offered me a segment. It was sweet and very, very slightly tart. The flesh was like an apple and you could eat the skin if you like. It's also as crunchy as an apple when it's still hard, although he said that it will taste much sweeter and custardy if I eat it soft after a few days. I sort of hinted that I wanted to taste a Hachiya as well, but he said in that distinct hyperactive Chinese way: "No, no, no. Hachiya eat very very very soft only. Fuyu can eat when hard or soft, but Hachiya only good soft."
So yeah, okay. I bought half a kilo of Fuyus and another of Hachiyas. I decided to put the still hard (and therefore unripe) Hachiyas in a paper bag and stored them in a cupboard, like the man said. But I enjoyed the Fuyus right away. There were a couple left and they got softer after two-three days. Indeed the flesh tasted sweeter, creamier and much richer. It's like a very fruity and very light pumpkin. When the Fuyus were hard, I ate even the skin but I prefer the Fuyus peeled when they were already soft.
A word of advice, wait for the Hachiyas to soften. Remember, very, very, VERY soft. Case in point, I tried a Hachiya when it was as soft as a ponkan (still not soft enough) and upon biting into it, I felt like I drank 20 cups of uber strong Lipton tea without sugar. If you end up being impatient like me, your persimmon experience will not be memorable in the way it should be. So WAIT. The other Hachiyas that ripened (as in cottony soft) and, voila! Persimmon heaven.
To eat, you can just cut them up, or you can take the top stem off and eat the insides. You'll love it.