We finished harvesting the persimmons last week and are saving a three crates to eat and a large barrel of cut and smashed for fermentation. We will make Raki in the late spring from the persimmons. What are persimmons? Persimmons are a late fall harvest fruit here in Malesi e Madhe, the fruit flowers from green to ruby orange when ripe. We have two varieties, one has a seed and the other seedless, the texture mushy like a tomato and honey sweet. Great for baking and topping to rice pudding.
The key to eating a persimmon is patience. If you pick and attempt to eat too soon your mouth is invaded by a filmy tannin. You have to wait for the entire fruit to change from a golden orange to a dark ruby orange and soft exterior.
You can eat the peel with both varieties but I prefer without a peel. A second option is to pick them before they are a ripe, wipe them down with raki and store in a plastic bag in a dark place for a week, they come out ready to eat without the tannin and some even slightly firmer like a peach. Also the worse they look the better they taste!
Liquor from persimmons, we have a small batch of ripened persimmons fermenting with sugar and raki in small jars and will strain in about 10 days. The large batch featured below is for the Raki. Stay tuned for the outcome in 2020.
Why do we eat Persimmons? Persimmons are rich in dietary fiber and many nutrients such as manganese, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and iron. They also contain several other health-promoting phytonutrients, such as catechin (a natural phenol and antioxidant), gallocatechin (also an antioxidant) and betulinic acid. Betulinic acid has been shown to have antiretroviral, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as potential as an anticancer agent.