What is it?
Persimmons are a seasonal autumn fruit in Japan. They can be broadly categorised into two types: sweet (amagaki) and bitter or astringent (shibugaki). The persimmons found in the supermarket are usually the sweet kind. They are typically squat in shape, with a flat base, similar to a tomato or miniature pumpkin. Fruit marked as 'tanenashi' (たねなし) are seedless.
How can it be eaten?
Persimmons can be eaten as soon as they become ripe, i.e. their skin turns an orange or deep orange-red colour. Although the skin is edible, it is usually peeled before the fruit is cut and eaten. Persimmons can be eaten straight like an apple, added to fruit salads, green salads; made into jelly, jam, drinks and desserts. They can also be used to flavour breads, cakes and cookies.