he monsoons are long gone, and its now the time for the best part of the year climate-wise. While it is by no means even close to a winter, the days have cooled down and the nights are really pleasant (23C at night is a cool temperature for us!).
That left me no wiser, as “Amar” in Hindi means “immortal” and I couldn’t connect it up with anything I could see in the fruit.
The king got the shock of his life when the persimmon was presented back to him and also discovered his wife’s infidelity. Becoming thoroughly disgusted and realising that he had misplaced his trust and affection, he gave up his throne and kingdom to take on the life of an ascetic himself.
So, going back to last year’s persimmons, I bought a few and took them home. I was in for a rude shock when I cut open what looked like a really ripe fruit and it was so astringent that I couldn’t feel my tongue for a minute. I also couldn’t get the astringent taste out of my mouth with all things I tried, including washing my mouth out with water and eating sugar! It eventually wore off after half an hour.
Fuyu persimmons, which are smaller and squat looking more like tomatoes. These can be eaten even when they’re not completely ripe when they’re crisp. Persimmons are best when they’re deep orange and heavy in your hand. Hachiyas (and Fuyus sometimes) might have a blackish colouring which is happens as they ripen.
Here’s a really easy Persimmon Mousse I made with some Hachiyas. Make sure they’re really ripe because the tannins in the fruit (the stuff that causes the astringency) will curdle the cream. If you’re making your own persimmon purée, remove the skin and the blend the pulp till smooth. Once the Hachiya is really ripe, just slice of the top and squish the pulp out of the fruit. Otherwise you can pull the skin off and it will peel off.