From Wikipedia: “Diospyros kaki is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Diospyros. Although its first published botanical description was not until 1780, the kaki is among the oldest plants in cultivation, known for its use in China for more than 2000 years. In some rural Chinese communities, the kaki fruit is seen as having a great mystical power that can be harnessed to solve headaches, back pains and foot ache.
The persimmon (kaki) is a sweet, slightly tangy fruit with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture.”
Origin and cultivars:
“This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation extended first to other parts of East Asia and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s, and numerous cultivars have been selected.
In many cultivars, known as the astringent varieties, the fruit has a high proanthocyanidin-type tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit matures. It is not edible in its crisp, firm state; it tastes best when allowed to rest and soften after harvest. It has a soft jelly-like consistency and is best eaten with a spoon. The Japanese 'Hachiya' is a widely grown astringent cultivar. Other cultivars, such as Fuyu, do not contain tannins when firm. They can be eaten like an apple or can be allowed to go to any stage of ripeness, including to the jelly-like stage. These non-astringent varieties are considered to have a less complex flavor.
"Sharon Fruit" (named originally after Sharon plain in Israel) is the trade name for non-astringent D. kaki fruit.”
“The high content of the carotenoids beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin, along with some lutein and alpha-carotene makes the kaki fruit nutritionally valuable.”
“Kaki are grown worldwide, with 90 percent of the total in China, Japan and Korea. In East Asia the main harvest time for kaki is in the months of October and November. The trees lose their leaves by harvest time. Occasionally, the brightly colored fruit is left unharvested on the tree as a decorative effect.
In China, kaki has been cultivated since time immemorial. It is considered to have four virtues:
- It lives long.
- It gives a large area of shade.
- It is used by the birds as a nesting place.
- It is not attacked by pests.
Cultivation of this species at first spread through East Asia. Since the 19th century, kaki partially replaced date-plum (Diospyros lotus, also known as Caucasian persimmon) in some countries in South Europe and West Asia, because kaki have bigger fruits than date-plum; cultivation in California began at that time.”
“Throughout Asia, healing properties are attributed to the kaki. They are said to be helpful against stomach ailments and diarrhea. Immature fruits are said to be a treatment for fever, if they ripen in containers until they are sweet as honey. The juice of unripe fruit is said to lower blood pressure and the fruit stem to relieve a cough. To reinforce these effects, the fruit is peeled before use, exposed to the sunlight during the day and to the dew at night, until a white powdery coating forms.
A vase adorned with a kaki cake, a pine branch and an orange is a symbol of the desire for "great happiness in 100 affairs."
From “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persimmon”: “Persimmons are eaten fresh, dried, raw, or cooked. When eaten fresh, they are usually eaten whole like an apple in bite-size slices, and may be peeled. One way to consume ripe persimmons, which may have soft texture, is to remove the top leaf with a paring knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Riper persimmons can also be eaten by removing the top leaf, breaking the fruit in half, and eating from the inside out. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy, and the texture is unique. The flesh is sweet and, when firm owing to being unripe, possesses an apple-like crunch. American persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) and Diospyros digyna are completely inedible until they are fully ripe.
For centuries, Japanese have consumed persimmon leaf tea (Kaki-No-Ha Cha) made from the dried leaves of "kaki" persimmons (Diospyros kaki). In some areas of Manchuria and Korea, the dried leaves of the fruit are used for making tea. The Korean name for this tea is ghamnip cha.
In the Old Northwest of the United States, persimmons are harvested and used in a variety of dessert dishes, most notably pies. They can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads, curries and as a topping for breakfast cereal. Persimmon pudding is a baked dessert made with fresh persimmons that has the consistency of pumpkin pie but resembles a brownie and is almost always topped with whipped cream. An annual persimmon festival, featuring a persimmon pudding contest, is held every September in Mitchell, Indiana.”
“Persimmons may be stored at room temperature 20 °C (68 °F) where they will continue to ripen. In northern China, unripe persimmons are frozen outside during winter to speed up the ripening process.”