Have you ever had a persimmon? What about a North American persimmon, Diospyros virginia?
These persimmons are similar to the Asian persimmons, but much smaller – only about an inch in diameter.
This misunderstood Virginia-native fruit can turn even the most adventurous eater away, and yet, they are also well-loved by those who understand them. They weren’t named the fruit of the gods for nothing, after all. The trick is knowing how to harvest and prepare them!
First, you’ll need to find a persimmon tree. It can be a tricky endeavor because they are rare in most Virginia forests today. But, luckily, it’s easy to recognize even at a distance.
Its bark is slate gray, almost black – which alone is unusual among trees in Virginia. It also has blocky, imperfect squares in the bark. The closest bark to it in Virginia are dogwood and loblolly pine, but dogwood has opposite branching and pine trees are, well, evergreen, with easily distinguished needles!
Persimmon Pudding Recipe
If anyone wants persimmons and wants to try this, please let me know! We collected a lot this year! If you do try this recipe, please comment on your results below . . .