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It's Not a Tomato, It's a Persimmon!

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It's Not a Tomato, It's a Persimmon!

Have you recently spotted an unfamiliar orange fruit for sale at your local farmers’ market? It’s likely a persimmon, so try it out!

You may have recently spotted an unfamiliar orange fruit for sale at your local farmers’ market and wondered to yourself, “Is that some sort of weird tomato?” However, the brightly coloured pieces of bounty you’re spying are likely not a rare strain of heirloom tomatoes, they’re probably persimmons.

Persimmons are a sweet, decadent fruit. Different varieties are split into one of two categories: astringent and non-astringent.  Astringent persimmons must be extremely ripe before eating, bordering on overripe. If not left until they’re soft and wrinkly, astringent persimmons will have a chalky, unpleasant taste. The hachiya is the most commonly cultivated astringent persimmon.

Non-astringent persimmons, on the other hand, can be eaten when they are still firm and crunchy—keep an eye out for fuyu persimmons, which are the most widely available.

Persimmons are native to China, though they are cultivated worldwide, in other parts of Asia, Europe, Brazil, and the US. They’re typically harvested between October and December, which is why we’re seeing this exotic fruit during our winter.

Persimmons are delicious blended into a smoothie, cut up into a seasonal fruit salad, reduced to a jelly, broiled for a custardlike dessert, baked into cakes or puddings, or even just sliced up and eaten by itself.

In addition, they’re packed with nutrients, including 55 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin A and 6 grams of dietary fibre.

So the next time you see one of these tomato lookalikes, pick a few up and try them for yourself. You might be surprised how delicious they are!

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