American Persimmons - Processing?


Jun 13, 2020
Virginia, USA
Sorry if this isn’t the right place ...

We have an American persimmon tree, that I’d like to harvest fruit and do something with. We’ve had at least two frosts and nights in the 20’s, the fruit is soft and some just straight up squishy. I picked what I could reach, ran them through a small hand crank food mill (the kind you hold over a bowl), and made purée. Tastes so sweet! Then it doesn’t, like sucking a dry wad of cotton, like 10 seconds later. Is this normal?? I certainly know unripe fruit has that astringent(?) quality, but these are ripe. Am I missing something? Is that normal? Do I just need to use it/cook it to take that cotton mouth quality away? Thanks for any input!
Interesting thread. I have several "wild" persimmon trees here on this property. They get BIG and make wonderful shade. The fruit is small (size of scuppernong or muscadine grapes here in the south) and very bitter/astringent even when very/over ripe.

I have no problem with the ponies, chickens and wildlife eating them. Last year, I did notice that they had been spread around quite a bit, but I didn't go mark which trees were which before the leaves fell off (then look the same as the scrub oak to me). This fall, I will go around and mark them. WHY? Homesteaders and people seem to be going crazy buying them. I will dig them up and offer them potted in good soil/fertilizer. Maybe make enough $$ to pay for some of my chicken feed or the plucker I'd like to get this year...

The light colored pony with her head up below, would often pick fruit in the fall by rearing on her hind legs and "plucking" them from the tree. When the branches shook loose ripe fruit, the other ponies would eat it from the ground. The tree pictured is a persimmon. The 2nd pic shows the same tree later in the year, leafed out and with the boys in their fully fenced pasture standing in the shade (different angle). It is actually a "triple trunked" tree. If I'd known in Jan 2015 what I know now, we'd probably have taken out 1 or 2 of the sides. Not sure if we can now. It's HUGE. I don't have current pics of it, but the ponies still can reach it and they still stand in the shade... The two trees behind the boys in their pasture are some type of wild cherry or a cherry variety (?). They never did produce any fruit. Summer/fall 2019 they died. Then this fall of 2020, the one closest to the pony pens (not seen in the pictures) was uprooted and fell over - thankfully into the pasture. Last month, I had the two still standing cut down so they wouldn't fall/endanger ponies or fencing. We still need to cut/chip them up...

15may8mix074300.jpg 16jun23mix1885.jpg

Because so many people rave over the persimmon fruit, I'd love to plant some of the Asian varieties and try those...
I’m not sure how much more ripening they could have undergone :( They were already nearly mush on the tree.
Over ripe things can also take on some weird flavors, maybe you waited too long??

My dogs love bananas, avocados, and such.. unless over ripe.. then neither my family, nor my dogs will touch them. Chickens and pigs are still game for stuff that's safe for them. Ugh, I saw my new puppy happily eat a slug the other night! :sick

My mother in Love is Korean.. and she does indeed go gaga over certain persimmons. I really like planting trees that the fruit is hard to get to market/find at all locally, and sold for way more than the average fruit/veg that comes mass produced at stores. I've planted several varieties of Asian pear, certain apple varieties, blueberries/tomatoes/strawberries, etc that either don't machine harvest, travel, or cold store well. (in accordance with my current local climate, Previous home, 2 peach trees produced more than 80# in one season)

I think I don't like cooked orange food.. pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, etc.. count me out. But I still enjoy growing some things just to share with others! :)

I can't remember if I liked them or not.. but I do recall having fun baking persimmon cookies once with neighbor kids I was babysitting when young. I usually like the spices that come in the cooked orange foods.. those muffins do sound delicious! :drool

Skins off makes sense.. that's often where a fair amount of the fiber is.. and on plums and such is where they are most tart to me.. near the skin and pit.. I like a little tart acidity but prefer not too sour for "sweeter" fruits. I know that's maybe not the same as the astringent flavor described.. but I do think of it similar to too much pith on an orange still, maybe?

I don’t think I waited too long, as supposedly you can harvest all winter long?

For the ponies - they are edible to just about everything, but watch out for the seeds - I read that the seeds can glom up in horses’ and cows’ digestive tracts and cause problems?
Thanks for your reply! I think they probably aren’t supposed to have that “cotton mouth” quality, but I’m not sure how much more ripening they could have undergone :( They were already nearly mush on the tree.
It’s best to let them go until they fall when you shake the tree gently. Some may have a very slight cottonmouth feel even when fully ripe just depends on your tree. I don’t mind it. It did scare me the first time I tried one though. The cottonmouth feel is very similar to the feeling a get when I’ve eaten cherries which I’m highly allergic to.
Down in AL our wild persimmons do not really ripen up til around September, but I am afraid I don't have any good recipes as we leave them for the wildlife- deer LOVE them! I'll be following this thread!

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