The persimmon has long since ceased to be an unknown fruit. The fruit from Asia is becoming increasingly popular among young and old due to its sweetness and high vitamin content. However, many people ask themselves how to eat the persimmon, let alone peel it. As it is not a native plant, the persimmon rarely appears on the German diet.
Kaki is the fruit of the kaki tree of the same name (bot. Diospyros kaki), which comes from Asia and the Middle East and has been cultivated in many regions for over 2,000 years. Due to its size, firmness and texture it resembles tomatoes, but its aroma is as sweet as a honeydew melon and some vanilla. If you want to try the persimmon, you should know in advance how it is eaten and whether it needs to be peeled. Then you can enjoy the sweet flesh, which takes on a more intense taste when ripe.
Peeling and preparation
If you want to eat a persimmon, it is not in itself necessary to free it from its shell, as it is edible. It is not poisonous and even very nutritious, which speaks for consumption. If you want to eat it, you should only do so if it is unsprayed fruit. The reason: even after washing, the sprays are still palatable and make the peel extremely inedible. You can eat fruits from organic cultivation without spraying without any problems, even with the skin. The following tips will help you to prepare the fruits properly so that you can use them in the kitchen afterwards.
1st degree of ripeness
The degree of maturity is one of the most important tips if you want to eat kakis. The riper the fruit is, the better it tastes and the way it is prepared before consumption changes. It is always a good idea to let the fruit ripen a little within your own four walls so that it can develop its full taste potential. The rule of thumb for persimmons: the softer, the better. Harder fruits can be eaten, but due to the high content of tannins (bitter substances) they are often inedible. It is therefore better to wait a little longer.
You can peel the kaki easily with a knife or a peeler. The peel is firm and can be removed with a few hand movements, as with apples. However, you should only peel an unripe kaki, as the ripe fruits are much too soft and could be damaged. Then cut the fruit and prepare according to your taste.
Cutting the persimmon is also one of the most important tips, especially if you want to process sprayed or not yet fully ripe fruit. Proceed as follows so that you can eat the sweet kaki as quickly as possible.
choose a sharp knife
that facilitates the cut
place the knife with the tip on top or at the bottom of the persimmon
now you cut once with the knife completely around the fruit
then you can detach the two halves from each other
remove the pistils
these should not be consumed, as they are inedible
quarter the fruit
Remove the cores, as they are not edible.
Cores can hit the stomach
You can now cut the four pieces even smaller, but it is not a must. Depending on how you want to eat the kaki, you can decide whether you want to cut it into eighths. Inside the persimmon you will also find a white stalk. This is edible and does not have to be cut away. However, it is possible to remove it if you do not want to eat this part of the kaki.
On the European market there are mainly three varieties that you will encounter in the trade.
Honey apple: reddish colour, quite large
Persimmon: reddish color, quite large
Sharon fruit or Sharon: yellowish colour, smaller
The Sharon, which is a smaller version of the other varieties but can be prepared in the same way, is particularly interesting. A big advantage of the Sharon is the low tannin content and the absence of seeds. This means that you can eat and enjoy yellow persimmons even when they are not ripe, since the skin is not as bitter as that of the other varieties. The other varieties can give you a furry feeling on your tongue when you eat the unripe fruit. But you don’t have to worry, it’s just the tannins.
If you have unsprayed fruit at your disposal, you can simply wash it briefly and then eat it directly like an apple or pear.
Tip: Even if you want to eat an unsprayed persimmon, it may be that it is too hard for you. The texture of the skin is not something for every taste, so you can remove it easily.
The preparation possibilities of the Kaki are endless. Since it can not only be eaten cold, it can even be used for hearty dishes, similar to an apple or pear, and provides a tasty kick. In many cultures, it is particularly popular as a pure snack, as the intensive aroma comes into its own even more strongly.
You can prepare the persimmon in the following ways:
spoon out raw like a kiwi, when completely ripe
raw quarter or eighth, if still a little bit hard
in cakes and pastries
to jam or compote process
in fruit salad
for the refinement of muesli
as fruit sauce with spices to duck breast or pork fillet
Especially in East Asia there are numerous dishes that make use of the fruit, as it has been cultivated and used there for thousands of years. Especially in China and Japan, fruit is an integral part of various regional cuisines and you will always find something new to eat a persimmon. For a typical Japanese autumn dish, for example, kakis, shimeji mushrooms (marbled wood shavings), tofu and spinach are combined and cooked with soy sauce and sake. The advantage of Kakis is their aroma, which can be used with numerous spices and sauces.
Tip: Kaki plums are particularly popular as a fresh ingredient in endive salads. These two characteristic flavours harmonise perfectly with each other in terms of taste and should definitely be tried out for this reason.