The persimmon is an over-looked, if not out-right forgotten, American-native fruit. I have a blogger friend that really likes persimmons, and I have even been contemplating getting a persimmon for my garden, so when I saw them at the co-op, I had to buy one to try it out.
It was really squishy, like an over-ripe tomato, when I bought it and I was thinking that maybe it was a bit over-ripe.
I started in on it by popping off the top. It was so ripe that this was rather easy. I then peeled the skin down, almost like you would do with a banana.
The inside was like jelly with a segmented center.
It almost had a slightly spicy orange flavor on first taste, but I think that was the mind playing tricks on me seeing as it was so orange. As I tasted it some more, it was more like squash pie flavor (like a pumpkin pie, only lighter). My husband thought it had some slight banana tones to it. As I tasted it some more, it became clear that it tasted like a cross between wild plums and squash, with the consistency of really ripe wild plums. There is definitely a delicate spicy flavor to it which is very interesting.
The interior has two textures: the outer is like gooey marmalade and the inner is of almost lychee(or firm grape)-like textured segments.
I really want to try a less ripe persimmon to see if the flavor is improved. I could definitely see eating these as a mock pumpkin pie by throwing a little whipped cream on top; or even mixing the persimmon into a milk shake! I have read that the Japanese let the persimmon freeze on the tree and eat them like popsicles - that would be worth a try, too.
These fruit definitely have possibility, and I think that they'd make great, unusual gifts.