pparently the Greeks thought that the persimmon was a fruit of the Gods. I never even knew of this fruit till a couple of years back when I saw it at the market here. I assumed it was one of those imported types of fruit which are now available here and invariably sold at exorbitant prices.
Then last year, I bought a couple of persimmons (as I knew what they were now, thanks to blogging) to see what they tasted like. Let's just say that I regretted my decision to buy them!
In the meanwhile, I discovered that certain varieties of persimmons tend to be astringent and quite unpalatable until they're ripe and almost bursting. So when I saw persimmons at my market again, last month, I decided to buy a few and see if they tasted better when fully ripe. I also discovered that persimmons are native to and grown in India in the hilly regions of northern India. My fruit vendor told me the persimmons are called "Amarphal" and his lot of fruit came from Kashmir.
If the persimmon is a something new to you, as it was to us, here's some really useful information. It seems there are two commonly available varieties of persimmons, the Fuyu (looks somewhat like a slightly flattened tomato and not really very astringent/ tart; can be eaten when ripe but still firm) and Hachiya (looks more like an acorn and is very astringent/ tart; can be eaten only when very ripe and somewhat soft).
I didn't know what variety my persimmons were, but on closer inspection I came to the conclusion that two were Hachiya and the other two were Fuyu! It looks like both the varieties are sold together as one lot of fruit!
So I waited until the persimmons were ripe and cut one up. The Fuyus can be eaten once they start ripening and will get sweeter as they ripen. They’re great in salads. The Hachiyas have to ripen till they’re almost bursting out of their skis before they lose their unpleasantly astringent/ tart taste but when they can be unbelievably sweet. The only thing is the flesh of the Hachiya at this point is so pulpy that apart from eating it as it is there’s not too much else you can do with it.
Now this was just before we took a break, so I didn't have too much time to spend searching for a recipe and executing it, so I took the next best and easiest way to use up the persimmons. I did what I usually do with most fruit, and that was to make a milkshake.
Spiced Persimmon Milkshake With Vanilla Ice-creamIngredients:3 very ripe Hachiya persimmons500ml milk (2% fat)3 to 4 tbsp honey3/4 tsp garam masalavanilla ice-cream to serve 44 tbsp chopped pistachios for garnishingMethod:Skin and deseed (if there are seeds) the persimmons. Put the persimmon pulp, milk, honey and garam masala in a blender and blend till smooth. Refrigerate till ready to serve.To serve, put a scoop of the vanilla ice-cream in a tall glass. Top up with the milkshake (stir the refrigerated milkshake before pouring into glass). Garnish with chopped nuts or grated chocolate, if preferred.You can also blend the ice-cream with the rest of the ingredients if you prefer. This recipe makes 4 milkshakes.