Im in south east Kansas , and if you know where to look and can bet the coons and deer they are fine eating, if it isnt soft dont pick. it takes a good freeze for them to soften up and get sweet. you can tell the winter by splitting the seed to see if its a knife , fork or spoon. mild, far, or poor winter, persimmon wood is used in high dollar golf clubs. and burnning it has more BTU's than osage orange= hedge. The bark splits and bees love the sap. i have picked them and froze them for a few days to get them to rippen.
Leah Sattler wrote:There are lots of wild persimmon trees around here. I have tried them straight from the tree and they have that "dry pucker" effect. you probably know what I mean, the same effect that eating the pithe from a pecan has. Is there any way to prepare them to make them edible?
In my experience, wild American persimmons do not ripen very much if you keep them in a bowl on your counter after picking them green, but they do ripen a little bit. If they are almost ripe, just letting them sit can help.
However, I've had very good luck drying very tannic/puckery persimmons to make dried fruit in my dehydrator. This won't make "hard green crunchy" persimmons edible, but if, say, you spot a tree full of ripe-looking fruit that's begun to soften but isn't quite ready to eat, and you're too far from home to come back in a week, or the underbrush is so overgrown you can only get the fruit before it falls -- in that case, picking the fruit and dehydrating it may well make it perfectly edible. This is not a guarantee, I've had mixed results, but it can work.