There are 2 types of persimmons commonly available in our area of California. Both ripen in the fall. The Hachiya persimmon are extremely astringent unless ripened until they are jelly like inside. Typically these persimmons are either used in baking or to make the traditional dried persimmon called Hoshigaki. The Fuyu persimmons, which we grow on our farm, are not astringent so they can be eaten when still crispy, like an apple. They also can be eaten when quite a bit softer, and can even be used in recipes to replace the Hachiya if they are ripened to a jelly like state.
There is an easy way to distinguish the sweet Fuyu persimmon from the astringent Hachiya. The Fuyu has a rounded bottom, the Hachiya has a pointed bottom.
Hachiya Persimmon on the left, Fuyu Persimmon on the right
I love fruit salsa, and mango salsa is delicious, but unlike persimmons, mangoes are not commonly grown in Northern California. I find the texture, color and flavor of a slightly soft-ripe Fuyu persimmon to be similar to mango and have been using it as a California alternative to mango in recipes. I started making this persimmon salsa several years ago, and I love it on grilled chicken or fish, or it can be eaten with chips like any other salsa.
Use slightly soft Fuyu persimmons if you can. However any Fuyu will work, whether it is still crisp or it is dead ripe soft.
Beautiful Fall Fuyu persimmons
I like the persimmon peeled, so I peel it, remove the seeds and chop it coarsely. For this recipe, use about 4 persimmons or enough to make 2 cups of chopped persimmon. The spiciness of this recipe can be individualized. I use about 1/3 of a very hot Poblano chili that has turned red. I chop the chili very finely. This is about 1/4 cup of chopped Poblano chili.
Mix the persimmon and chili in a bowl with the following ingredients:
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup finely diced avocado (1/2 large or 1 small – about 4 ounces by weight)
½ cup chopped scallion or ¼ cup very finely chopped red onion soaked in water for 10 minutes
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
If you do not have fresh chili, (for example jalapeno) you can use Tabasco or Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste. The amount of spice is up to your discretion. I usually just taste it until it is as hot as I would like.
Fuyu Persimmon Salsa
Nutrition Notes: persimmons are a good source of carotenoid compounds (vitamin A like compounds) and lutein and zeaxanthin. This compounds can promote eye health.
By the way, if you are interested in purchasing Fuyu persimmons, or the limes for this recipe, we do sell them at our farm when in season. Read more here.
Here is a link with more information about our farm Burgeson Family Farm
© 2013. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.
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