You’ll either pucker up as you taste the bitterness of the astringent selection of persimmon or you will grin as its sweetness permeates your mouth. Whatever the kind of persimmons (Diospyros spp.) — which are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11 — it is to your advantage to eat them when they’re ripe. Fortunately, persimmons do not need to completely ripen before harvesting. Therefore, if you’ve fruit that needs to ripen, you are able to do this indoors.
Feel and gently squeeze an astringent selection, such as “Hachiya” and “Ancient Golden,” to establish if it’s ripe. Astringent varieties have to be soft when ripe. Non-astringent varieties, such as “Fuyu” and “Jiro,” can be hard or soft when ripe. Notice the size and color of the persimmon. Fruits are usually 1 to 3 inches in diameter and yellow-orange in color with a reddish undertone. If you’re still uncertain if the persimmons are ripe, then taste one.
Place the persimmons in a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana. The ethylene gas apples and bananas produce speeds up the ripening process. Alternatively, keep out the fruits at room temperature in a bowl.
Loosely fold the bag closed and the persimmons will ripen in a couple of days. If you abandon the persimmons out at room temperature, then they will ripen in about three or four days. After ripening, store persimmons from the refrigerator — away from other ripening fruit — and eat within three days.