Persimmon – Hachiya and Fuyu
Above is the variety of persimmon you don’t often see in the shops in the UK; hachiya. This is the variety that is familiar to me when growing up. I don’t recall ever eating cakes or desserts made with them, they were eaten as soon as most of the flesh turned a very soft slight jelly-like texture. Since I managed to get my hands on them I will be making something and at present my thoughts are going towards soufflés or parfaits unless something else inspires me.
In the potograph below you can see the different shapes of the two varieties, hachiya on the left and fuyu variety on the right, a much shorter size. Apart from the size the biggest difference between them is in eating them. The squatted fuyu, also known here as sharon fruit can be eaten while it’s crunchy and even when sweet and ripe you have a slight crunchy texture. The heart shapped hachiya should be eaten when absolutely over-ripe, falling apart, its flesh turned vibrant red, if you eat an unripe hachiya persimmon you won’t be making the same mistake again, the astringent taste won’t leave your mouth. If you’re prepare to be a little patient however when it’s ready it’s beautifully sweet.
Below on the left is a cut unripe hachiya persimmon. On the left is a cut ripe fuyu variety.
The other difference in shape between the two is the heart-shape hachiya has a round body looking down and the fuyu has corners.
I enjoyed eating that cut fuyu after photographing this…a mixture of crunchy soft jelly like texture.
I thought the cut hachiya looked really beautiful with its flower pattern but no matter how attractive looking I ain’t putting that in my mouth yet…
When a hachiya is ripe it goes from an orange-red colour to deep red and extremely soft to the touch.
A Ripe Hachiya Persimmon
You can see how red it is now and you can hardly make out the flower shape.