The Persimmon gained its name from the ancient Greeks, which translates to the ‘fruit of the gods’. These divine fruits generally fall under one of two varieties: the Fuyu persimmon and the Hachiya.
The Fuyu persimmon, Diospyros kaki, is born of a tree native to the Far East. Originally cultivated in China and Japan, Fuyus are now also grown in warmer parts of the world including the Mediterranean and the USA. The fruit will be yellow-orange when ready to eat. It is squatty with thin skin and bears a large calyx at its base. Fuyus are very sweet and hard like an apple. They are often dried, candied, or eaten as a dessert fruit.
The Hachiya cultivar, or the classic Kaki, is much taller than the Fuyu and has a deeper red color when ripe. The underripe Hachiya is very bitter and astringent due to the presence of natural substances called tannins. When the Kaki becomes overripe and soft (like a water balloon), the astringent flavor is replaced by a delicious sweetness.