Like different varieties of Asians, American persimmons vary in taste, astringency, size, and seediness. There are just beginning to be a few named selections available. Not really sure why anyone would want to plant them in a region where Asians can grow, though.....by comparison even the best Americans are small, seedy, very astringent (like leave them on the tree till they drop astringent), and the trees get so tall you may have to wait till they drop anyway.
The modern Asian persimmons have been bred to be seedless and don't need to ripen to mush to be edible so they can be eaten while almost as crisp as an apple. Still, there's a lot of variation among them - the worst are rather flavorless, while the best have a very complex flavor that's hard to describe but kind of floral, sweet, mildly tart, and wholly addictive. I agree, if they grow well in your area, no reason to bother with American persimmons, but if they don't grow well I do think the American persimmons are worth growing, tho some trees may make ones only good for animal feed and kids.
Steve Flanagan wrote:I have never had american persimmon. What are the differences between asian and american persimmon with regards to flavor and texture?
I have an American persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana) in my front yard and generally get a couple of quarts of fruit a year, so I am more familiar with them.
The main thing as others have said, the American persimmon has to be mushy ripe or it can be very astringent.
I gather mine under the tree on a daily basis through September-October.
I like the flavor, its sweet and mild, and with a tiny bit of the astringency it has a slight nutmeg like after taste.
I generally put the whole fruit in my mouth and spit the seeds out.
Most of them end up in freezer jam/preserves though.
Asian persimmons to me are better for eating out of hand, for one thing, they are much bigger, and there are no seeds.
To me, Asian and American persimmons are like different fruit though, the Asian is juicy and "wet", whereas the American is more gooey.
The difference is analoigo9us to the difrerence in a non-GMO tomato and a tomato, or a watermelon and GMO watermelon. I had a horrible watermelon the other day. I have an Asian persimmon in my refrigerator and it is sterile and no seeds, and very bland. I threw the other one out into the compost pile. That's where this one is going too.
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
Steve Flanagan wrote:The main reason why I asked is because we may move to where I cannot grow asian persimmon. Although, I was curious as well.
Per a Google search I did, you might want to read up on Jiro and Ichikikei jiro Persimmons, apparently they have been grown in zone 6 successfully.
I do have a Jiro planted where I live now, so if we don't end up moving I should be enjoying its fruit in a few years. And thanks for the tip. I'll look into it. But, to be more specific we may move to the Oregon coast where the summer high average is 67 degrees. The Winter low average is actually higher than where we live now. They get rain pretty much all year, with an annual precipitation of 76 inches. I would much rather grow the Asian species than the American species, if possible...
I have grown both Asian persimmons and American persimmons in my yard. I greatly prefer the American persimmons. People should only grow selected varieties of American persimmons n their yard, because the taste is so much better than just a seedling, in my opinion. Asian persimmons are large, sweet and bland, like a red delicious apple. American persimmons are distinctive, aromatic, and have an intriguing butterscotch/rum flavor. Except for Meader or Szukis, you will need to have both male and female varieties for American persimmons. American persimmons are a "wilder" fruit, so they almost surely have more antioxidants/nutrition than an Asian, overbred persimmon. My advice would be to taste them. If you like sweet, bland fruit, get the Asian. If you like distinctive fruit, get the American.
I agree with John, and I'm a bit surprised that so many of the posters prefer Asian persimmon. I'm wondering if they have only had wild seedling fruit....those can be not so good. Some of the selected varieties are incredibly flavorful, I would swear they had some kind of spice added to them if I didn't know better! Of course, I may be missing out on some of the better Asian persimmons. I've only had those from the store, and a few home grown varieties that can make it in zone 6.
there's a hybrid of the two that's alleged to combine the large, sweet fruit of D. kaki with the hardiness of D. virginiana. never eaten any of the fruit, though, so I can't comment.
on the flavor of D. kaki, the best are really, really good, and the worst are little better than cardboard. some of the astringent D. kaki varieties have something of the rich flavor that good D. virginiana persimmons have, but they're a lot bigger, and a lot easier to pick because the trees are so small. I don't care for the non-astringent varieties. not much to them.