October 30, 2013


I've never seen the persimmon trees so heavily-laden as they are this year. They seem to be the only fruit that produced well this year.

This is a large thicket of persimmon trees down the road a few miles. These trees grow too close to the road though, closer than my personal standard for foraging - and yet too far away and behind a fence so that I couldn't grab one.

Persimmons will pucker your mouth if you eat them too soon. They must ripen on the tree, not on your counter, and are best after the first freeze of winter.

I've never tried a persimmon, either fresh or in baked goods. Many people wait anxiously for that first freeze so they can forage the fruit. Allrecipes has "over 30 trusted persimmon recipes" for everything from cookies and cake to chutney and cheesecake.

Supposedly persimmon seeds predict winter weather. Folk legend says that if you open a persimmon seed, there is a mark inside that will resemble either a knife, a fork, or a spoon. A knife means a cold winter: you can "cut the cold with a knife". A fork means a mild winter. A spoon stands for a snow shovel: winter will be wet and snowy. But, like I said, I couldn't reach one so I could open it and see for myself.

Have you ever tried persimmons? Do you like them?

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  1. Anonymous5:41 PM

    We found a persimmon tree on our land this week. It is the only fruit we have. Thanks for mentioning that we should wait for the first freeze. Blessings, Cindy in OK

  2. You're welcome, Cindy. I found 3 small trees on the edge of our woods too, not big enough to bare fruit yet evidently.

  3. Hi! I enjoyed your post very much; thanks for sharing it on HomeAcre Harvest Hop. I do a lot of foraging for wild edibles, but alas, persimmons do not grow in my area. I actually like wild edibles that I can gather close to the road and in great quantity (though I also enjoy foraging in remote areas)....So I will keep your post in mind for when I travel south.

    Question: Do you have to pick them off the tree, or are they still good when they fall to the ground? Do wild animals tend to get them all before they fall to the ground?

    I've posted a lot about wild edibles, which, if you like, you can check out here:

  4. Hi Janet,
    Persimmons are still good if you pick them up off the ground. When they are ripe enough to eat they will be soft, wrinkly, and translucent. They will easily fall off the branch. In fact they'll look so ripe that you'll think they are past their prime, but that is when they are the sweetest, I'm told. It IS hard to beat the wildlife to them though!

    Thank you, I'll check out your site too.

  5. Persimmons are sooooo good when ripe. We have several trees on our farm. We picked some yesterday afternoon. Actually picked them up off the ground. They're really sweet this time. Racoons will usually beat us to most of the ripe ones. I use them in several baking recipes, if I can prevent myself eating them all raw first.

  6. Beevillegirl, the main reason I've never tried a persimmon is because the wildlife always beat me to them! I've been warned to not try them before they are ripe and sweet, so I wait - rather impatiently - and then bam they are gone. What is your favorite recipe that uses persimmons?

  7. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Yes, I am grateful for the fruit which just shows up here with no attention from us until it's almost ready for harvest. DH is great to collect the fruit when it's ready and pop off the stem caps. Then I remove the tiny black "tail" and press them through a food mill. That's the only way I know to efficiently remove the seeds from any quantity. The skins seem to dissolve into the puree. I freeze most of it for later use in cookies, cakes, breads but I do keep some refrigerated to spread on toast or on pb sandwiches.

  8. You have a system going for this! Thank you for sharing it, perhaps someday I'll beat the wildlife to the persimmons.

  9. Wow! That tree is loaded with fruit! I have tried persimmons and have a cake recipe that is delicious!

    Marie Angelique

  10. There are 8 trees in this thicket and they're all loaded with fruit this year.

  11. I would love to make such a discovery! I have never cooked with persimmons, but I'll give anything a try!

  12. Aren't discoveries and surprises fun, Amy? I love them too.

  13. We love persimmons. We mix them with apples, oranges and bananas to make a fall pudding. I can't imagine having access to a tree full of persimmons!
    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  14. Your fall pudding sounds delicious!


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