Persimmon predicament

Photo from here

I have been talking about persimmons for, like, a week now. In case you haven't heard of one, what you see above is a persimmon.

I don't know what happened, but about a week ago, somewhere from the murky depths of my mind, something triggered a memory from the trip my friend Covi and I took to New Zealand a while back. Every day on that month-long trip I snacked on a beautiful reddish/orange fruit that looked like a large tomato but had the consistency of an apple, and tasted like nothing I've ever eaten before. It was amazing. I tried to remember what this thing I had eaten back then was: Was it a pomegranate? No, it didn't have a plethora of seeds. Was it some weird hybrid apple-mango that we don't have in the states? Then it came to me - persimmon.

Since then, this little fruit (well, actually it's a berry - weird, huh?) has been haunting me. I went to Whole Foods to try to hunt one down, but they said I missed their once-a-year, only-for-a-few-weeks, Thanksgiving-time shipment. I Googled "persimmon" and "Maryland" endlessly, but evidently you need to live in California to buy them in the store or you have to grow them in your own backyard if you want one in the US.

I don't think about this fruit/berry for years upon years, then all of a sudden it's everywhere. Persimmon pudding for Christmas. Persimmon-scented candles in the store. Then, today, up popped this persimmon salad recipe from Domestic Reflections in my blog roll. Where is this all coming from?! But doesn't it look delicious?:

Image from Domestic Reflections

I'm telling you, these buggers are haunting me. I want one so badly now that I've even harassed my (un)sister-in-law to see if she'd smuggle one for me in her suitcase on her flight from San Diego to Philadelphia this week for Christmas. Somehow I don't think that's a good idea (persimmon-covered sweaters don't sound ideal).

So what's a girl to do? I don't see a trip to NZ or Asia (where they're from) in the foreseeable future, and we don't have a yard in which to grow a tree right now. Have any of you ever tried a persimmon? If you live on the East Coast, where did you get it?

In the meantime, I'll be dreaming about these little orange gems. It's funny - I don't even remember what they taste like fully, and yet I'm totally craving one. Mmm.


  1. You're in luck-- they are native to the Southeastern US and the warmer parts of the Midwest. If you do a search you'll find tons of classic Southern recipes-- persimmon pudding, anyone? I am surprised to hear you say you've found them in CA and in NZ!

  2. Thanks for the info, anonymous! Where do you live? Have you had a persimmon?

  3. Rachel! Grow a tree indoors! Try googling the seeds, order from a seed company, and start it by the New Year!

  4. they really are all the rage suddenly, aren't they? here in finland we get the israeli version called sharon, but they are usually way too raw to be fully enjoyed, and sadly they do not ripen after picking. i've been told they taste best only once they start to look a bit past it. oh, to own a tree to peruse...
    the asian name is kaki, by the way. you might yield results by calling out all these names.