Persimmon
Overview
 
A persimmon is the edible fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros
Diospyros
Diospyros is a genus of about 450–500 species of deciduous and evergreen trees. The majority are native to the tropics, with only a few species extending into temperate regions. They are commonly known as ebony or persimmon trees...

in the ebony wood family (Ebenaceae
Ebenaceae
The Ebenaceae are a family of flowering plants, which includes ebony and persimmon. The family has approximately 500 species of trees and shrubs in two genera, Diospyros and Euclea. The species are mostly evergreen and native to the tropics and subtropics, with a few deciduous species native to...

). The word Diospyros means "the fire of Zeus" in ancient Greek. As a tree, it is a perennial plant. The word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan
Powhatan language
Powhatan or Virginia Algonquian is an extinct language belonging to the Eastern Algonquian subgroup of the Algonquian languages. It was spoken by the Powhatan people of tidewater Virginia. It became extinct around the 1790s after speakers switched to English. The sole documentary evidence for this...

, an Algonquian language
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

 of the eastern United States
Eastern United States
The Eastern United States, the American East, or simply the East is traditionally defined as the states east of the Mississippi River. The first two tiers of states west of the Mississippi have traditionally been considered part of the West, but can be included in the East today; usually in...

, meaning "a dry fruit". Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange
Gold (color)
Gold, also called golden, is one of a variety of orange-yellow color blends used to give the impression of the color of the element gold....

 to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species, vary in size from 1.5 to 9 cm (0.5 to 4 in) in diameter, and may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped.
Encyclopedia
A persimmon is the edible fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros
Diospyros
Diospyros is a genus of about 450–500 species of deciduous and evergreen trees. The majority are native to the tropics, with only a few species extending into temperate regions. They are commonly known as ebony or persimmon trees...

in the ebony wood family (Ebenaceae
Ebenaceae
The Ebenaceae are a family of flowering plants, which includes ebony and persimmon. The family has approximately 500 species of trees and shrubs in two genera, Diospyros and Euclea. The species are mostly evergreen and native to the tropics and subtropics, with a few deciduous species native to...

). The word Diospyros means "the fire of Zeus" in ancient Greek. As a tree, it is a perennial plant. The word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan
Powhatan language
Powhatan or Virginia Algonquian is an extinct language belonging to the Eastern Algonquian subgroup of the Algonquian languages. It was spoken by the Powhatan people of tidewater Virginia. It became extinct around the 1790s after speakers switched to English. The sole documentary evidence for this...

, an Algonquian language
Algonquian languages
The Algonquian languages also Algonkian) are a subfamily of Native American languages which includes most of the languages in the Algic language family. The name of the Algonquian language family is distinguished from the orthographically similar Algonquin dialect of the Ojibwe language, which is a...

 of the eastern United States
Eastern United States
The Eastern United States, the American East, or simply the East is traditionally defined as the states east of the Mississippi River. The first two tiers of states west of the Mississippi have traditionally been considered part of the West, but can be included in the East today; usually in...

, meaning "a dry fruit". Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange
Gold (color)
Gold, also called golden, is one of a variety of orange-yellow color blends used to give the impression of the color of the element gold....

 to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species, vary in size from 1.5 to 9 cm (0.5 to 4 in) in diameter, and may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped. The calyx often remains attached to the fruit after harvesting, but becomes easier to remove as it ripens. They are high in glucose
Glucose
Glucose is a simple sugar and an important carbohydrate in biology. Cells use it as the primary source of energy and a metabolic intermediate...

, with a balanced protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

 profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses.

Like the tomato, it is not considered a "common berry
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

", but is in fact a "true berry" by definition.

Select species

The shizi (柿子 in Chinese), also known as Japanese Persimmon
Japanese persimmon
Diospyros kaki, better known as the Japanese Persimmon, Kaki Persimmon or Asian Persimmon in North America, is the most widely cultivated species of the Diospyros genus...

or kaki (柿) (Diospyros kaki), is the most widely cultivated species. These are sweet, slightly tangy fruits with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. This species, native to China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, is deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of east Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, and was later introduced to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and southern Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the 1800s, to Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 in the 1890s, and numerous cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s have been selected. It is edible in its crisp firm state, but has its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften slightly after harvest. The Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 cultivar 'Hachiya' is widely grown. The fruit has a high tannin
Tannin
A tannin is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.The term tannin refers to the use of...

 content which makes the immature fruit astringent
Astringent
An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

 and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit matures. Persimmons like 'Hachiya' must be completely ripened before consumption. When ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell.

"Sharon Fruit" (named originally after Sharon plain in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

) is an Israeli-bred cultivar of the D. kaki fruit. The cultivar is called 'Triumph'. As with all pollination-variant-astringent persimmons, the fruit are ripened off the tree by exposing them to carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

. The sharon fruit has no core, is seedless, particularly sweet, and can be eaten whole. Eating the sharon fruit regularly is believed to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol...

 heart attacks.
The Date-plum
Date-plum
Diospyros lotus, better known as the Date-plum or Caucasian Persimmon is a widely cultivated species of the genus Diospyros, native to subtropical southwest Asia and southeast Europe. Its English name derives from the small fruit, which have a taste reminiscent of both plums and dates...

(Diospyros lotus) is native to southwest Asia and southeast Europe. It was known to the ancient Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 as "the fruit of the gods", or often referred to as "nature's candy" i.e. Dios pyros (lit. "the fire of Zeus"), hence the scientific name of the genus. Its English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 name probably derives from Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 Khormaloo خرمالو literally "Date-Plum", referring to the taste of this fruit which is reminiscent of both plum
Plum
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera in the shoots having a terminal bud and solitary side buds , the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one...

s and dates
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

. This species is one candidate for the lotus mentioned in the Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

: it was so delicious that those who ate it forgot about returning home and wanted to stay and eat lotus with the lotus-eaters.

The American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana
Diospyros virginiana
Diospyros virginiana, commonly called the American persimmon, common persimmon, Eastern persimmon, "'simmon" and "possumwood", is a persimmon species known by a variety of names including. It ranges from New England to Florida, and west to Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kansas...

) is native to the eastern United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and is higher in nutrients like vitamin C
Vitamin C
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and certain other animal species. In living organisms ascorbate acts as an antioxidant by protecting the body against oxidative stress...

 and calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

 than the Japanese Persimmon. Its fruit is traditionally eaten in a special steamed pudding in the Midwest and sometimes its lumber is used as a substitute for ebony, e.g., in instruments.

The Black Persimmon or Black Sapote (Diospyros digyna) is native to Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Its fruit has green skin and white flesh, which turns black when ripe.

The Mabolo or Velvet-apple (Diospyros discolor) is native to the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. It is bright red when ripe. It is also native to China, where it is known as shizi. It is also known as Korean Mango.

There are many other species of Diospyros that are inedible to humans, and thus have little or no commercial value for their fruit.
This fruit can be enjoyed in the winter

Fruit

Commercially, there are generally two types of persimmon fruit: astringent
Astringent
An astringent substance is a chemical compound that tends to shrink or constrict body tissues, usually locally after topical medicinal application. The word "astringent" derives from Latin adstringere, meaning "to bind fast"...

 and non-astringent.

The heart-shaped Hachiya is the most common variety of astringent persimmon. Astringent persimmons contain very high levels of soluble tannin
Tannin
A tannin is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.The term tannin refers to the use of...

s and are unpalatable (or "furry" tasting) if eaten before softening. The astringency of tannins is removed through ripening by exposure to light over several days, wrapping the fruit in paper (probably because this increases the ethylene
Ethylene
Ethylene is a gaseous organic compound with the formula . It is the simplest alkene . Because it contains a carbon-carbon double bond, ethylene is classified as an unsaturated hydrocarbon. Ethylene is widely used in industry and is also a plant hormone...

 concentration of the surrounding air), and/or artificially with chemicals such as alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 and carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 which change tannin into the insoluble form. This bletting
Bletting
Bletting is a process that certain fleshy fruits undergo when, beyond ripening, they have started to decay and ferment. There are some fruits that are either sweeter after some bletting, such as sea buckthorn, or for which most varieties can be eaten raw only after bletting, such as medlars,...

 process is sometimes jumpstarted by exposing the fruit to cold or frost which quickens cellular wall breakdown. These astringent persimmons can also be prepared for commercial purposes by drying. Tanenashi fruit will occasionally contain a seed or two, which can be planted and will yield a larger more vertical tree than when merely grafted onto the D. virginiana rootstock most commonly used in the U.S. Such seedling trees may produce fruit that bears more seeds, usually 6 to 8 per fruit, and the fruit itself may vary slightly from the parent tree. Seedlings are said to be more susceptible to root nematodes.

The non-astringent persimmon is squat like a tomato and is most commonly sold as fuyu. Non-astringent persimmons are not actually free of tannins as the term suggests, but rather are far less astringent before ripening, and lose more of their tannic quality sooner. Non-astringent persimmons may be consumed when still very firm, and remain edible when very soft.

There is a third type, less commonly available, the pollination-variant non-astringent persimmons. When fully pollinated, the flesh of these fruit is brown inside – known as goma in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 – and the fruit can be eaten firm. These varieties are highly sought after and can be found at specialty markets or farmers markets only. Tsurunoko, sold as "Chocolate persimmon" for its dark brown flesh, Maru, sold as "Cinnamon persimmon" for its spicy flavor, and Hyakume, sold as "Brown sugar" are the three best known.

Before ripening, persimmons usually have a "chalky" taste or bitter taste.
  • Astringent
    • Hongsi (Korean: 홍시)- large, tall and shaped like an acorn
    • 'Hachiya' (ja: 蜂屋), 'Kōshū hyakume' (ja: 甲州百目), 'Fuji' (ja: 富士)
    • Tanenashi
      • 'Hiratanenashi' (ja: 平核無)
      • 'Tone wase' (ja: 刀根早生)
    • 'Saijō' (ja: 西条)
    • 'Dōjō hachiya' (ja: 堂上蜂屋)
    • 'Gionbō'
    • Sheng
    • Ormond
  • Nonastringent
    • 'Fuyū' (:ja: 富有)
    • Dan gam (Korean, 단감)- looks like a flattened tomato
    • 'Jirō' (:ja: 次郎柿)
    • 'Taishū' (ja: 太秋)
    • 'Hanagosho' (ja: 花御所)
    • 'Izu' (ja: 伊豆)
    • 'Sōshū' (ja: 早秋)

  • Fruit production

    The table below shows figures of persimmons for the world's top ten persimmon producing countries according to FAO
    Fão
    Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

     statistics.
    Production figures in tonnes per year
    Country 1970 1990 1995 2000 2005
    China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    457,341 640,230 985,803 1,615,797 1,837,000
    Korea
    Korea
    Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

    30,310 95,758 194,585 287,847 250,000
    Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    342,700 285,700 254,100 278,800 230,000
    Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

    21,659 46,712 51,685 63,300 150,000
    Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    59,600 68,770 61,300 42,450 51,332
    Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    - 17,200 11,000 14,000 40,000
    New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

    - 972 1,600 1,200 1,300
    Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    25 925 1,000 1,000 1,000
    Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    - 329 640 650 650
    Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

    - 275 274 450 450


    Culinary uses

    Persimmons are eaten fresh, dried, raw
    Raw food diet
    Raw foodism is the practice of consuming uncooked, unprocessed, and often organic foods as a large percentage of the diet....

    , or cooked. When eaten fresh, the skin is usually cut/peeled off and the fruit is often cut into quarters or eaten whole like an apple. One way to consume very ripe persimmons, which can have the texture of pudding, is to remove the top leaf with a paring knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy, and the texture is unique. The flesh is very sweet and when firm, possesses an apple-like crunch. American persimmons are completely inedible until they are fully ripe.
    In China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    , Korea
    Korea
    Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

    , Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    , and Vietnam
    Vietnam
    Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

     after harvesting, 'Hachiya' persimmons are prepared using traditional hand-drying techniques, outdoors for two to three weeks. The fruit is then further dried by exposure to heat over several days before being shipped to market. In Japan the dried fruit
    Dried fruit
    Dried fruit is fruit where the majority of the original water content has been removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers or dehydrators. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized...

     is called hoshigaki (干し柿), in China it is known as "shi-bing" (柿饼), in Korea it is known as gotgam (hangul: 곶감), and in Vietnam it is called hồng khô. It is eaten as a snack or dessert and used for other culinary purposes.

    In Korea, dried persimmon fruits are used to make the traditional Korean spicy punch
    Punch (drink)
    Punch is the term for a wide assortment of drinks, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic, generally containing fruit or fruit juice. The drink was introduced from India to England in the early seventeenth century; from there its use spread to other countries...

    , sujeonggwa
    Sujeonggwa
    Sujeonggwa is a Korean traditional fruit punch. Dark reddish brown in color, it is made from dried persimmons, cinnamon, ginger, peppercorn and is often garnished with pine nuts. The punch is made by brewing first the cinnamon, ginger and peppercorn at a slow boil...

    , while the matured, fermented fruit is used to make a persimmon vinegar called gamsikcho (감식초), which is alleged to have a variety of health benefits. The hoshigaki tradition traveled to California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

     with Japanese American
    Japanese American
    are American people of Japanese heritage. Japanese Americans have historically been among the three largest Asian American communities, but in recent decades have become the sixth largest group at roughly 1,204,205, including those of mixed-race or mixed-ethnicity...

     immigrants.

    In Taiwan
    Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

    , fruits of astringent varieties are sealed in jars filled with lime water
    Lime water
    Limewater is the common name for saturated calcium hydroxide solution. It is sparsely soluble. Its chemical formula is Ca2. Since calcium hydroxide is only sparsely soluble, i.e. ca. 1.5 g per liter at 25 °C, there is no visible distinction to clear water. Attentive observers will notice a slightly...

     to get rid of bitterness. Slightly hardened in the process, they are sold under the name "crisp persimmon" (cuishi 脆柿) or "water persimmon" (shuishizi 水柿子). Preparation time is dependent upon temperature (5 to 7 days at . In some areas of Manchuria and Korea, the dried leaves of the fruit are used for making tea
    Tea
    Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

    . The Korean name for this tea is ghamnip cha (감잎차).

    In the state of Indiana (USA), persimmons are harvested and used in a variety of dessert dishes most notably pies. It can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads, curries http://www.epersimmons.com and as a topping for breakfast cereal. Persimmon pudding
    Persimmon Pudding
    Persimmon pudding is a traditional American dessert made with persimmons. Although American, persimmon pudding is similar to traditional English dessert puddings, such as Christmas pudding or quince pudding. This style of pudding is generally either steamed or cooked in an oven with a water bath,...

     is a dessert using fresh persimmons. An annual persimmon festival, featuring a persimmon pudding contest, is held every September in Mitchell, Indiana
    Mitchell, Indiana
    Mitchell is a city in Lawrence County, Indiana, United States. The population was 4,567 as of the 2000 census.It is the birthplace of astronaut Gus Grissom, who flew on Liberty Bell 7, Gemini 3, and died in a launch pad fire at Kennedy Space Center in 1967....

    . Persimmon pudding is a baked pudding that has the consistency of pumpkin pie
    Pumpkin pie
    Pumpkin pie is a traditional sweet dessert, often eaten during the fall and early winter, especially for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada. The pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time and featured also at Halloween....

     but resembles a brownie
    Chocolate brownie
    A chocolate brownie is a flat, baked square or bar introduced in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the twentieth century. The brownie is sliced from a type of dense, rich chocolate cake, which is, in texture,...

     and is almost always topped with whipped cream
    Whipped cream
    Whipped cream is cream that has been beaten by a mixer, whisk, or fork until it is light and fluffy. Whipped cream is often sweetened and sometimes flavored with vanilla, in which case it may be called Chantilly cream or crème Chantilly ....

    . Persimmons may be stored at room temperature where they will continue to ripen. In northern China, unripe persimmons are frozen outside during winter to speed up the ripening process.

    Medical effects

    The Sharon fruit was found to contain high levels of dietary fibre, phenolic compounds, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese. They are also rich in vitamin C and beta carotene. Regular consumption of the fruit is believed to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis
    Atherosclerosis
    Atherosclerosis is a condition in which an artery wall thickens as a result of the accumulation of fatty materials such as cholesterol...

     heart attacks. A separate research project showed that a diet rich in Sharon fruit persimmons improved lipid metabolism – the way the body copes with fat – in laboratory rats.

    The fruits of some persimmon varieties contain the tannins catechin
    Catechin
    Catechin is a natural phenol antioxidant plant secondary metabolite. The term catechins is also commonly used to refer to the related family of flavonoids and the subgroup flavan-3-ols ....

     and gallocatechin, as well as the candidate anti-tumor compounds betulinic acid
    Betulinic acid
    Betulinic acid is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid which has anti-retroviral, anti-malarial, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a more recently discovered potential as an anticancer agent, by inhibition of topoisomerase...

     and shibuol.

    Unripened persimmons

    Unripened persimmons contain the soluble tannin
    Tannin
    A tannin is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.The term tannin refers to the use of...

     shibuol, which, upon contact with a weak acid, polymerizes in the stomach
    Stomach
    The stomach is a muscular, hollow, dilated part of the alimentary canal which functions as an important organ of the digestive tract in some animals, including vertebrates, echinoderms, insects , and molluscs. It is involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication .The stomach is...

     and forms a gluey coagulum, a "foodball" or phytobezoar
    Bezoar
    A bezoar is a mass found trapped in the gastrointestinal system , though it can occur in other locations. A pseudobezoar is an indigestible object introduced intentionally into the digestive system....

    , that can affix with other stomach matter. These phytobezoars are often very hard and almost woody in consistency. More than 85% of phytobezoars are caused by ingestion of unripened persimmons. Persimmon bezoars (diospyrobezoars) often occur in epidemics in regions where the fruit is grown. Diospyrobezoars should not be of concern when consuming moderate quantities of persimmons. One case in medical literature from 2004 revealed a 51-year old patient who had eaten a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of unpeeled persimmons each day for 40 years. Cases have been rare and required surgical removal, but more recently chemical depolymerization by Coca-Cola
    Coca-Cola
    Coca-Cola is a carbonated soft drink sold in stores, restaurants, and vending machines in more than 200 countries. It is produced by The Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta, Georgia, and is often referred to simply as Coke...

     has been used.

    Horses may develop a taste for the fruit growing on a tree in their pasture
    Pasture
    Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs...

     and overindulge also, making them quite ill. It is often advised that persimmons should not be eaten on an empty stomach.

    Wood

    Though persimmon trees belong to the same genus as ebony
    Ebony
    Ebony is a dense black wood, most commonly yielded by several species in the genus Diospyros, but ebony may also refer to other heavy, black woods from unrelated species. Ebony is dense enough to sink in water. Its fine texture, and very smooth finish when polished, make it valuable as an...

     trees, persimmon tree wood has a limited use in the manufacture of objects requiring hard wood. It is hard, but cracks easily and is somewhat difficult to process. Persimmon wood is used for paneling in traditional Korean and Japanese furniture.

    In North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    , the lightly colored, fine-grained wood of D. virginiana is used to manufacture billiard
    Billiards
    Cue sports , also known as billiard sports, are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick which is used to strike billiard balls, moving them around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by rubber .Historically, the umbrella term was billiards...

     cues and textile shuttles. It is also used in the percussion field as the shaft of the Tim Genis Signature Timpani Mallet Collection, as well as several Vic Firth and Cooperman drumsticks. Persimmon wood was also heavily used in making the highest-quality heads of the golf clubs
    Golf club (equipment)
    A golf club is used to hit a golf ball in a game of golf. Each club is composed of a shaft with a grip and a clubhead. Woods are mainly used for long-distance fairway or tee shots; irons, the most versatile class, are used for a variety of shots; Hybrids that combine design elements of woods and...

     known as "woods"
    Wood (golf)
    A wood is a type of club used in the sport of golf. Woods are used to hit the ball farther than any other type of golf club....

     until the golf industry moved primarily to metal woods in the last years of the 20th century. In fact, the first metal woods made by TaylorMade
    Taylormade-adidas
    TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Company of Carlsbad, California is a U.S. headquartered subsidiary of the German based Adidas Group. TaylorMade was started in 1979 by Gary Adams, the inventor of the metalwood, and the company has continued to maintain a consistent presence at the top of golf product...

    , an early pioneer of that club type, were branded as "Pittsburgh Persimmons". Persimmon woods are still made, but in far lower numbers than in past decades. Over the last few decades persimmon wood has become popular among bow craftsmen, especially in the making of traditional longbow
    Longbow
    A longbow is a type of bow that is tall ; this will allow its user a fairly long draw, at least to the jaw....

    s. Persimmon wood is used in making a small number of wooden flutes and eating utensils such as wooden spoons and cornbread knives (wooden knives that may cut through the bread without scarring the dish).

    Like some other plants of the genus Diospyros, older persimmon heartwood is black or dark brown in color, in stark contrast to the sapwood and younger heartwood, which is pale in color.

    Trees

    The trees of all species have stiff, tumescent leaves, but the female of the D. virginiana can look less turgid than the male because the leaves droop when fruiting, perhaps because of the heavier nutrient requirements. They grow swiftly, and are immune to the usual delicacy of trees planted in unpredictable climates. Persimmons can tolerate and adapt to a wide range of climates. Persimmons are also notoriously resistant to diseases and pests. They are one of the last trees to leaf out in the spring, and do not flower until well after the leaves have formed, bypassing the threat of blossom loss to frosts. The fruit hangs on the branches long into the winter. Because they grow swiftly and colonize off their root systems, they are ideal for helping recover habitat. A 1–2 year old persimmon tree will be mature enough to bear fruit within 7–8 years. They hold their own against flooding riverbanks quite well and are listed in Stormwater Journal's list of water-holding trees.

    Apocryphal and traditional significance

    • In Ozark folklore, the severity of the upcoming winter is said to be predictable by slicing a persimmon and observing the cutlery
      Cutlery
      Cutlery refers to any hand implement used in preparing, serving, and especially eating food in the Western world. It is more usually known as silverware or flatware in the United States, where cutlery can have the more specific meaning of knives and other cutting instruments. This is probably the...

      -shaped formation within it. (This is "a myth with no bearing on weather forecasting").
    • In Vietnam
      Vietnam
      Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

      , the fruit is a part of Mid-Autumn Festival
      Mid-Autumn Festival
      The Mid-Autumn Festival , also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. A description of the festival first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou...

       offering.
    • In traditional Chinese medicine
      Traditional Chinese medicine
      Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage , exercise , and dietary therapy...

       the fruit is thought to regulate ch'i.
    • The raw fruit is used to treat constipation and hemorrhoid
      Hemorrhoid
      Hemorrhoids or haemorrhoids , are vascular structures in the anal canal which help with stool control. They become pathological or piles when swollen or inflamed. In their physiological state they act as a cushion composed of arterio-venous channels and connective tissue that aid the passage of...

      s, and to stop bleeding. Overconsumption can induce diarrhea
      Diarrhea
      Diarrhea , also spelled diarrhoea, is the condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day. It is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. The loss of fluids through diarrhea can cause dehydration and...

      , but the cooked fruit is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery
      Dysentery
      Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

      ; the opposing effects of the raw and cooked fruit are due to its osmotic effect in the raw fruit sugar (causing diarrhea), and the high tannin content of the cooked fruit helping with diarrhea.
    • In philosophy, the painting of persimmons by Mu Qi
      Mu Qi
      Mu Qi , also known as FaChang or Muqi Fachang, was a Chinese painter and Chán monk who lived during the Southern Song Dynasty, approximately 1200-1270 CE . Born in Sichuan, he emigrated to the Southern Song capitol Lin An...

       (13th Century) exemplifies the progression from youth to age as a symbol of the progression from bitterness to sweetness. The persimmon when young is bitter and inedible, but as it ages it becomes sweet and beneficial to humankind. Thus, as we age, we overcome rigidity and prejudice and attain compassion and sweetness. Mu Qi's painting of Six Persimmons
      Six Persimmons
      Six Persimmons is a 13th century Chinese painting by the monk, Mu Qi , the painter better known in China as Fa-Chang. It was painted during the Song dynasty. Mu Qi was one of the two great exponents of the spontaneous mode of Chinese painting . It features six persimmons floating on an undefined,...

      is considered a masterpiece.
    • The folklore about the seed says that a spoon means snow while a fork is a milder winter and a knife is a cold biting winter.
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