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unripe persimmmons  RSS feed

 
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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?
 
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lucky you! wild persimmons!

So, if my guess is correct persimmons are the same fruit I learned all about while living in Italy, they confusedly call them 'naranjas' (oranges). Not only would they leave them in a dry dark box to 'blet' a little (soften up), I think they also wait until after the leaves have fallen from the trees, even into the frosty season.

It's quite spectacular, these persimmon street trees. Dark orange globes alone decorating it, like a halloween christmas. I'd mentally note the tree and come back to it in a few more weeks. Or maybe try putting some in a dark box somewhere and see what they do.

Also, I hope someone else posts on this! It's not like I was able to speak Italian while all this was happening around me!
 
Leah Sattler
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I don't know if they are the same or not. these are greenish now but later they will go through and orangish faze before turning a deep plum color. I can't remember if they start dropping to the ground before frost or not. I know that they are supposed to be a favorite of the deer. A local guy showed me one he considers the best/tastiest in the area but I didn't think to ask him how he prepared them exactly. 
 
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Location: Orcas Island, WA
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You'll want to let the persimmons turn super ripe before you try to eat them. Essentially you're looking for them to be like a little "bag of jelly" before you eat them. Once they're in that state they are delicious and not at all astringent.

In the store you can find Fuyu type persimmons which are a little different in that you can eat them when they're still crunchy and there is no astringency. However, even Fuyus become delectable once fully ripe.

Dave
 
Leah Sattler
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Maybe that was the problem when I tried them. Naughty me though I ate one freshly fallen right were I stood. It was pretty ripe but not quite jelly bag like. Next time I will gather them up and let them sit to ripen a bit more.
 
Leah Sattler
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forgot to ask. Anyone have a good link showing how to process acorns?
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I know that the American Indians(Yokuts)around here used to grind them into a meal,  then leach them with hot water thru a very tightly woven basket. This releases the tannins which are bitter.  A muslin cloth would do the same I think.  I also found this website.

plantanswers.tamu.edu/recipes/squirrel.html

I wonder if the water used could be collected and used on a compost heap?
 
Leah Sattler
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thanks jimauri! I'll have to look into some recipes now.
 
Leah Sattler
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This poor sad tree ravaged by last years ice storm is still producing like crazy.


 
Dave Boehnlein
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Location: Orcas Island, WA
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If you're up for a little grafting adventure, some of those wild persimmons would make excellent rootstocks for tasty selections that are available through specialty nurseries. An American persimmon variety we like out west is called 'Meader'. For more selections check out the persimmon page at One Green World (http://www.onegreenworld.com//index.php?cPath=1_49). You could probably even try some of the Asian ones and/or the promising Russian hybrids.

Dave
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Persimmons have to go through a hard freeze before they are fully ripe.

Can  you grow the trees from the pits? Because if so, I for one would love to get my hands on some of them. I dont have anywhere to plant yet, but someday, dammit!

On acorn flour... There are one or two species of oak tree whose acorns aren't nearly as high in tannin content, but I cant for the live of me remember which species it is now.

Leigh
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Over here in AL I am growing persimmons from seed. Have a dozen or so mixed in one spot from our local wild tree, grocery store, wild one from MD. One foot tall now a year on- 10 years til fruit?
 
                              
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I'm not sure how long it is from seed to mature tree, when they'll fruit. I'd have to look it up. But that's a good question.

Leigh
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Regular nursery trees take up to seven years to produce fruit but that is here in the PacNW

I really grew to cherish the Fuyu persimmon tree fruits when I had one in front of a rental house about 6 years ago. I missed it so much that I got one for the property that I live upon now. It's in front of the laundry room. Starting it's third year with me. Looks strong and healthy. Was a two year old when I got it bare root. My farmer friend told me to get a younger bare root rather than an older potted tree because they adjust better to the transplant shock. She tried both and was disapointed in what the older more mature looking trees did which was just sit there and not grow much. And I am pretty sure she knows the trick of making sure the root is freed up by pruning it back if it was in the pot too long. Another tree wise friend said the same thing: buying trees from a nursery in pots you are taking the risk that they will be stunted because of early bad experiences with limitations. Sort of like a child. They need room to grow.
 
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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you can make hoshigaki with persimmons, they are tasty!

http://www.otoworchard.com/hoshigaki.html
 
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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If they're very ripe and squishy, persimmon pudding is amazingly good. The astringency is almost all gone after so much cooking, and what little remains is in balance with the other aspects of the dish.

Apparently traditional recipes take eggs, but one of my ancestors won a bag of groceries during the Great Depression with our family recipe, in a "best egg-free dessert" contest.

I need to ask my mom for that recipe.
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Wow!  Two threads in and I find persimmons!  I may be a tad partial...

While I love all persimmons, it really depends on what you want to do with them.  Fuyu-type Asian persimmons (Diospyros kaki) (you may have some growing "naturalized near you depending on where you live) are great because you can eat them without waiting for them to be bletted (sort of like pears).  The other great thing is that they can be peeled, cut into slices or chunks and used in ways softer persimmons can not be used.  Hachiya-type D. kaki need to be bletted just like native (to the US anyway) Diospyros virginiana.  The advantage is that they can be shipped everywhere and have a much longer harvest than D. virginiana.

But for FLAVOR, nothing beats D. virginiana.  Even within the species, flavors run from pure sweet to caramel-like.  The issue here is that they do not ship well (which keeps industrial ag away) and they are limited to eating fresh or in things which require pulp...like persimmon pudding.  That said, you really can't beat them.  They have a wide array of applications and for those of you who hunt or enjoy wildlife, you can't get a better wildlife tree...EVERYTHING that walks, crawls or flies, eats D. virginiana.

Someone above had it right when they said you judge ripeness by when the fruit looks like a small bag of jelly.  This is correct.  The skin will also almost let the pulp slip right out...sort of like the strength of a wet tissue.  In fact, many will pop when they hit the ground.

Even if you don't judge them right...don't despair.  I've been eating them all of my life...probably more than my weight each season, and I still get impatient or want to sample a tree I may not have the opportunity to return to.  Unripe fruit can still be quite sweet, but the astringency which follows may be unpleasant.  It is temporary though, so I don't sweat it.

Oh...and there is an unfortunate myth about having to wait until frost for ripening.  It's a myth that has been countered by a good many folks for a couple of hundred years.  People grow up hearing it and swear by it.  Granted, D. virginiana ripens late in the year.  Some trees can ripen VERY late.  This doesn't mean they require frost, but they may get it.  Many ripen much earlier.  If you choose not to take advantage of the early ripeners, that's OK.  Those of us who do will appreciate your convictions! 
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Just a comment about growing wild persimmons from seeds. They have male trees and female trees, so plant plenty and set them close so you can weed out a lot of the males later.
 
                                    
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...and you can always graft additional seedlings to spread out the desired harvest and/or flavor pallette.
 
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rockguy wrote:
Just a comment about growing wild persimmons from seeds. They have male trees and female trees, so plant plenty and set them close so you can weed out a lot of the males later.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
 
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Location: N.W. Arkansas
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You forgot the old superstition!

You open the persimmon seed, after frost, when you have eaten the pulp.  And it will predict the winter.

Last fall, all we found were spoons.. no forks.  A spoon means you need a snow shovel, a fork is a mild year.  Well, our normal 3 days of snow were 6 weeks and we are setting here with 6" on the ground again!  So the old superstition was right this time!
 
Aljaz Plankl
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Persimmmons from seed - how big do they grow?
 
                    
Posts: 63
Location: N.W. Arkansas
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Where I live, persimmons are a wild forage food.
Some have fruit when small, just a tree in a fence row, maybe 10 feet tall?  You can stand on my truck and reach the fruit.

But some trees, are so tall, you can barely see the fruit, way up there, I am guessing 100 feet tall?  The full sized trees get so large you can't reach all the way around them.  They are every bit as large as a oak, hickory, or black walnut.  Actually to me, they resemble black walnut, with the height and smaller canopy than the oaks.

I would say these are started from seeds, that animals spread by eating the fruits.
 
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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  The Japanese generally let them get a good freeze before eating them. Personally, I'm not a huge fan. Mulberries all the way!
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I can verify the fact that they do NOT need a hard freeze to ripen.  It almost never freezes in my area and they ripen in abundance every year.

If you just can't find enough things to do with all those squishy persimmons though, try drying them.  You pick them while they are orange but still firm, peel the skin off, and hang them by the fire (or other sufficiently warm and dry place) to dry.  It takes awhile, but by the time they are done, the astringency is gone.  They taste fantastic, very reminiscent of dates!  You may see a while powder form on the outside, usually this is not mold, but crystallized sugar.
 
pollinator
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acorns, gather in autumn  as turn as they turn brown and fall..store in cool dry place or shell for immediate use. place whole, chopped or coarsly ground nutmeats in cloth (clean t shirt will do) and tie with string. Place in boiling water until water turns brown, drain and more boiling water, repeate many times until water remains clear. in fht field, placee bag filled with nutmeats in clear running stream until nutmeats are no longer bitter..from 1 to several days. spread leacehd acorns in pan and dry in sun or warm oven. use whole nutmeats or prepare and use as grits or meal

for more information see this book
isbn 0 8069 6488 5
edible wild plants a north american field guide sterling publ an outdoor life book

sorry if there are typos i was typing fast and no time to spell check right now
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Wild (native) persimmons do need to go through a frost before they are edible.  We have a grove of them at the back of the woods.  And in this part of the world (Alabama) you have to fight the possums for them.  One time I went into the woods expecting to be able to pick persimmons and most of them were on the ground.  The 'possums had been playing baseball with them.
 
                                
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Then there is the "entertainment value" of persimmons.
Pretend to eat a green one, and get your friends to take a bite- hilarious!
They have so much pectin it will pucker your mouth for a solid hour. When I was a kid, (in the 50's) pocket knives weren't all stainless steel blades like today. If you got your knife blade wet it could rust. Cutting a green persimmon would clean off that rust!
 
                        
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Good to know about using green persimmons for rust remover!

I was watching and old episode of Zatoichi.  He came across a persimmon tree and found out the hard way that the persimmons weren't ripe.  He stuck one in his kimona and later offered it to a boss who was giving him a hard time. 

Id like to offer a serving of green persimmons to some of our politicians in Congress!
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Here in mid mo, I get my persimmons when ammunition season (deer)  opens. That's around mid-November. We're in USDA zone 5 here. There's usually some on the ground, but that's fine, there are few bug to eat them and it's a cold as a refridgerator outside anyway. The deer don't bother them because they're either twitterpatted or busy getting shot at.
 
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Location: Texas
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I ate persimmons every fall growing up.  Infact, they where my dinner many many nights.  When they are orange to orange with blackish marks on them and soft they are ready to eat (no frost required, zone 8 here).  The softer the better.. Just avoid the skin.

I have not seen any in years, but I know there must be some as the coyote poop is full of them in the fall..
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Leah Sattler wrote:
forgot to ask. Anyone have a good link showing how to process acorns?


Buy Sam Thayer's latest book, "Nature's Garden". He has the most complete and accurate information I've ever been able to find. There's a lot of bad info in other books and on the net.
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I am interested in thoughts on growing Fuyu Persimmons in Central Alabama.
I see alot about planting the tree in full sun but will partial shade with all the heat and humdity we have do just as well?
 
Posts: 126
Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
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Freezing does nothing to the ripeness/astringency except maybe delay things.  There is one tree on my neighbor's that ripens in mid to late August--temps in the 90's.  I've also picked some in December, after many hard freezes, that were still astringent.  For some trees in some areas, the timing is close enough that frosts/freezes seem to ripen them, but it really doesn't.

One trick:  Save the ripest ones for last.  Eating a ripe one will provide whatever it is that removes the astringency.  This same effect means you don't have to worry about ruining a whole pot of jam or piece of fruit leather if you get a few not-quite-ripe ones in the mix.  The ripe ones will remove the puckeryness.

I bought 2 Fuyu persimon trees last spring.  They were bare root and barely had any roots.  Neither ever leafed out.  I would not recomend Willis nursery.
 
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just made some persimmmon jam pressure canning it now it tasted good when i put it in the jars soo i hope it canns ok
 
Posts: 116
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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We have a lot of wild persimmons in the Missouri Ozarks, and some ripen as early as the beginning of September, well before any freezes, when others in the area will hang onto the trees and not ripen until the early part of the winter, well after the leaves have dropped. Once you recognize the texture of a ripe persimmon, they need to be wrinkled ans squishy, go by that. Freezing doesn't really matter, some mature well before the first freeze here and some are still astringent after the first freeze. They do sometimes drop while still not quite ripe, you can still gather those and they will ripen off the tree.
 
charles c. johnson
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well my jam taste good but if you put to much in you mouth its like alum any suggestion on a fix ??
 
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  persimmon fruit wine. yum. the solids in the brew are bound by the tannins. the result is a naturally filtered sweet clear amber wine. that is my experience.

in the way of harvesting persimmons, i think it is easier to find clean ones when snow is on the ground.

  also, thanks for the tip for cleaning rust with unripe persimmons, i plan to try that one out on some castiron
 
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Location: Southern Georgia
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lol, giving "green" unripe "simmons" to city folks is an ol country boy trick.
They definitely gotta be ripe to eat. They stay on the tree and ripen, turning orangiesh colored and get soft, very soft, mushy even. Frost does make them sweeter, but sometimes it doesn't frost early enough. Most persimmons contain 7 seeds but sometimes you can find a tree that has less.
Lots of deserts can be made of persimmons, including puddings and breads.
Years ago, the green fruit was used as pectin to make other fruit jell up for jellies.
Wildlife loves persimmons, especially deer, opossums and raccoons.

Japanese persimmons are bigger and candy tasting when ripe.
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I'm lovin' this permie site anyway but finding a thread about persimmons fulfills a month long quest.  I had a soft ripe persimmon, my first, a month ago.  It sat on my kitchen counter for a month until it was soft. Then I scooped the fruit out of the skin with a spoon.  Fabulous!  The sweetest fruit I have ever eaten.  The seeds were indetectably soft.  I ate 'em.  Now I want to add one to my garden.  Persimmon, are still around.  I am taking your recommemdation for virginiana to heart. That's what I'll be looking for.  I'm in the Seattle area so I'm hoping that's good here.  It's the native isn't it.  I like that idea too.
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