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American persimmon, raw (organic?)

The American persimmon has a sweet, apricot and pear-like aroma. It is a species native to the USA. Organic quality?
Macronutrient carbohydrates 96.54%
Macronutrient proteins 2.31%
Macronutrient fats 1.15%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, <0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

The American persimmon ( Diospyros virginiana ) is a type of persimmon found in the USA and is often used raw to make pudding or other dessert creations. It is also eaten plain - preferably in organic quality.

Use in the kitchen

The American persimmon ( Diospyros virginiana ) is a relative of the persimmon ( Diospyros kaki ), which is found commercially in Europe. The fruits of the American persimmon are also round and orange to reddish, but somewhat smaller (2.5-5 cm in diameter) 1 than those of the persimmon common in Europe. Like persimmons, unripe, firm American persimmons contain a lot of tannins. These cause a bitter taste and trigger a furry, rough and astringent sensation, which is why the fruit is generally eaten when ripe to overripe. Fully ripe fruits are very sweet. Their taste is sometimes described as caramel or vanilla cream-like, with a hint of mandarin or date . The texture of the flesh is then very soft, almost jelly-like.

Can you eat the American persimmon raw? Ripe American persimmons are best eaten fresh and pure - whole or halved and scooped out. They are also suitable for preparing raw, cooked or baked dishes. The ripe fruit can be used to make jams, marmalades, compotes and syrups and to prepare wonderfully fruity, vegan desserts such as creams, ice cream, raw pudding and smoothies, as well as cakes, muffins and cookies. A sweet persimmon bread, similar to banana bread , is a typical American persimmon recipe. The aroma of the American persimmon also works well in soups, sauces and chutneys. They can also be dried and added to various baked goods.

The fruits are also used to make wine, liquor, white wine vinegar and beer. 2 The dried, roasted and ground seeds were once used as a coffee substitute. 3

Vegan recipe for American persimmon bread

Ingredients: 250-300 g American persimmons (raw, pureed pulp), 100 g agave syrup (or apple syrup ), 2 tbsp apple sauce (unsweetened) , 1 tbsp lemon juice , 300 g wholemeal flour , 1 tsp baking powder , ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp ginger powder , ½ tsp nutmeg powder , ½ tsp salt . Optional: 50 g raisins , 25 g walnuts (chopped).

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease a bread pan or cake pan with margarine or vegetable oil. In a bowl, mix the persimmon puree, sweetener, apple sauce and lemon juice. In another bowl, mix the wholemeal flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the flour is moistened. Optional: Fold in the raisins and walnuts. Pour the vegan dough into the prepared pan and bake for approx. 40-50 minutes (do the toothpick test). Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Vegan recipes with American persimmon (raw) can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

The American persimmon is not available in the DA-CH countries in regular supermarkets (e.g. Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer , Billa ) or in organic supermarkets (e.g. Denn's Biomarkt , Alnatura ) or health food stores. Finding the fruit in online shops is also difficult. However, you can get seeds or seedlings of Diospyros virginiana there.

The American persimmon, which is rarely available in Europe, can be replaced by the persimmon , which can be found in European supermarkets.

Storage tips

Unripe American persimmons should be stored at room temperature until they have ripened. Persimmons are climacteric, ie the ripening gas ethylene regulates their ripening process. Therefore, unripe specimens can be placed next to fruits that emit ethylene (eg apples ) and thus make them edible more quickly.

Ripe fruit should be consumed promptly. If stored in the refrigerator, it will last for a few days. Persimmons can also be frozen. To do this, puree the pulp and mix it with a little lemon juice - this will preserve the color of the puree. If packed in airtight containers, the puree can be stored in the freezer for around a year.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

The American persimmon (raw) contains 127 kcal per 100 g, which mainly come from carbohydrates (34 g/100g). Fat (0.4 g/100g) and protein (0.8 g/100g) content are low. 4

The raw fruits are rich in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with 66 mg/100g - that makes up 83% of the daily requirement. The Chinese jujube (69 mg/100g) and the papaya (61 mg/100g) contain a similar amount. At 450 mg/100g, sea buckthorn berries have more vitamin C. 4

100 g of American persimmons (raw) contain 2.5 mg of iron (18% of the daily requirement), a similar amount to coconut meat (2.4 mg/100g). Dried herbs (eg thyme : 124 mg/100g, basil : 90 mg/100g) have considerable iron contents. 4 However, it is important to remember that only small amounts of these are usually used.

Potassium is present in raw American persimmons at 310 mg/100g (16% of the daily requirement). Comparable amounts can be found in kiwis (312 mg/100g) and black currants (322 mg/100g). Dried seaweed contains a lot of potassium (eg kombu seaweed : 6100 mg/100g, dulse : 4684 mg/100g), but only small amounts should be consumed at a time due to the high iodine content. 4

American persimmons contain secondary plant substances, including phenols. 2

The complete ingredients of American persimmons (raw), the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health effects

The American persimmon ( Diospyros virginiana ) is rich in secondary plant substances such as phenols. These have strong antioxidant activity and therefore health-promoting properties. 2

The fruits have a positive effect on the central nervous system. The biologically active compounds stimulate the activity of the endocrine glands, promote better iron absorption and improve hematopoiesis. They also prevent the formation of carcinogens and cholesterol stones in the gallbladder, affect the intracellular hepatic circulation of bile acids and stimulate the bactericidal effect on the colon bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus . The fruits and leaves also have antifungal, antimicrobial and antitumor effects. 2

In addition, the fruits are reported to have a cholesterol-lowering effect and are suitable for treating bloody stools, thrush and sore throats. 5

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

The skins of unripe persimmons (whether Diospyros virginiana or Diospyros kaki ) contain high concentrations of tannins. These can polymerize when reacting with stomach acid and form a conglomerate in which cellulose, hemicellulose and various proteins accumulate. This tightly packed collection of indigestible material that gets stuck in the gastrointestinal tract (usually the stomach) is called a bezoar. In the case of persimmons, these are phytobezoars (bezoars made from plant materials such as fibers, peels and seeds of vegetables and fruit) and are specifically referred to as diospyrobezoars. Frequent consumption of tannin-rich persimmons can trigger the formation of a diospyrobezoar, but the formation of bezoars is a relatively rare condition. Compared to other phytobezoars, persimmon phytobezoars are more difficult to dissolve chemically or break into small pieces due to their hard consistency. Most of them have to be removed endoscopically or surgically. 6

Folk medicine - natural medicine

Native Americans traditionally used American persimmons as food. The fruits have been used in folk medicine since ancient times. 2

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

The CO 2 footprint is primarily used to assess the climate friendliness of a food. This depends on various aspects, such as cultivation method (conventional/organic), seasonality, country of origin, processing, transport and, if applicable, packaging. According to CarbonCloud, the production of 1 kg of persimmons ( Diospyros kaki ) causes 0.58 kg CO 2 eq. 7 We found no information on the CO 2 footprint of American persimmons.

In conventional agriculture, synthetic pesticides and herbicides are often used to combat unwanted plants and insects. These have been proven to have a negative impact on the environment and affect important pollinators, birds and mammals, among others. Accordingly, when buying persimmons, you should buy organic products in order to protect biodiversity and your own health, among other things. The use of such pesticides is prohibited in organic farming.

Detailed explanations of various sustainability indicators (such as ecological footprint, CO2 footprint, water footprint) can be found here .

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

The American persimmon ( Diospyros virginiana ) is native to North America. Its natural distribution area extends from the east to the Midwest of the USA. 5,8,9

Specimens were selected from wild populations based on their attractive color, flavor, size, and early maturity and these began to be cultivated (eg in California). 3,10 Despite efforts to market the American kaki, Diospyros kaki is more commonly grown commercially in the United States than Diospyros virginiana . 1

Found in the wild

The American persimmon tree grows wild in the north and south-east of the USA, but also in the Midwestern states and in Texas. 9,11 The tree can grow 9-24 m in height and 6-10 m in width. 9

American persimmons grow in a wide range of conditions - from dry, sandy forests to river bottoms to rocky slopes. However, the tree thrives best on terraces of large streams and river bottoms with clay. It grows in full sun but is also shade tolerant and can survive in the undergrowth. Diospyros virginiana is an early pioneer plant on abandoned and abandoned farmland and is often found along roadsides and fences. The American persimmon is often found as a thicket in open fields and pastures. This species flowers from March to June and bears fruit from September to November. 12

Cultivation in the garden

American kaki trees can also be grown in Central Europe because they are hardy. They are very adaptable, but prefer well-drained, nutrient-rich, humus-rich to sandy, moist soils in full sun to partial shade. 1,8,9,13

The American persimmon is dioecious. That is, there are male and female trees, and you need both to get fruit (on female trees). 8,9 Persimmon trees propagated from seed will bear fruit in the fall after 4-9 years, while grafted trees can bear fruit 3 years after planting. It can take up to 10 years for them to reach full fruiting capacity. 1,9

The persimmons are ready for harvest in autumn and often remain on the tree until winter. They then have taken on an orange-reddish colour and are soft. It is best to harvest the fruit by hand to avoid damage. Bearing trees can produce up to 45 kg of fresh fruit per tree. 1

Further information

The American persimmon ( Diospyros virginiana ) belongs to the genus Diospyros within the family Ebenaceae. The genus name Diospyros comes from the Greek dióspuron, meaning "food of Zeus" or "fruit of the gods". 14 The best-known species of the genus is Diospyros kaki ("normal" persimmon found in European supermarkets). 5 Other related species are D. oleifera , D. deyangensis , D. glaucifolia , D. lotus (lotus plum) and D. jinzaoshi . 15

How do persimmons and American persimmons differ? Persimmons ( Diospyros kaki ) and American persimmons ( Diospyros virginiana ) differ in size, distribution, winter hardiness and taste. Diospyros virginiana varieties are astringent when unripe, but very sweet and soft when ripe. Persimmon varieties of the species Diospyros kaki can be either astringent or non-astringent (sweet and firm when ripe). The American persimmon is also smaller than the common persimmon and has a small "beak" at the base of the fruit. 9 Diospyros virginiana is also more cold-resistant than Diospyros kaki .

An anachronistic fruit is defined as one that has no obvious mechanisms for seed dispersal. These fruits are typically large and fleshy and have high nutritional value. These characteristics make them likely candidates for dispersal by endozoochory (dispersal of diasporas by animals that ingest, digest, and excrete them), particularly dispersal via ingestion by large vertebrates. The results of a 2015 study suggest that the American persimmon is such an anachronistic fruit and that North American Pleistocene proboscideans (e.g. the extinct American mastodon) may have been important seed dispersers for this fruit. 16

In the animal kingdom today, the white-tailed deer appears to be the primary consumer of American persimmons, according to a 2017 study. Other wild animals that eat persimmons include raccoons, foxes, opossums, coyotes, crows, and squirrels. 17

Alternative Names

Other names for the American kaki include American persimmon, American kaki plum, and Virginia date plum. The name kaki apparently comes from "putchamin," a phonetic rendering of the name used by the Algonquin tribe. 9

In English, the American persimmon is called American persimmon, common persimmon, native persimmon, Eastern persimmon, simmon, possumwood, winter plum, date plum or Jove's fruit.

Other applications

The wood of the American kaki tree is particularly suitable for the production of woodturning, shoe lasts, shuttles, wood veneers, billiard cues and golf club heads due to its hardness, smoothness and even texture. 3, 8,18