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Friday, 30 November 2007


Funny old fruit this. We found this very pretty tree on our land, low growth, about 8 feet, fresh green leaves in spring changing to glorious shades of yellow, orange and red in autumn and producing this fruit, slightly tomato shaped, starting green, then turning bright yellow and finally dark orange. By the time the fruit is ripe the tree has lost all it’s leaves and you can spot a tree from a distance. They are quite common around here.

I didn’t know what it was, so we asked a neighbour. They told us it was a cachi tree. A look in the dictionary revealed that this is known as persimmon or kaki in English. We were none the wiser. So the first October, when we thought they might be ripe, we picked one, cut it open and tried it. My shirt instantly became 3 sizes to large and my head shrunk to the size of a walnut. Sour!!! They also left a rhubarb-like furriness on the teeth. Further enquiry told us that they should only be eaten when completely ripe, so we waited, tried again, and waited, tried again. The problem in our particular climate seems to be that it goes straight from under-ripe to rotten by about the end of December. Still, it’s a pretty tree, so we left it, hoping for a particularly fine autumn to ripen the fruit before the onset of rot.

This year, in our third year in Arcola, we managed to ripen some by the beginning of November and made some Kaki & Kiwi Jam. The kiwi was added to counter-balance some of the still high acidity. I called it Irish Jam as the 2 fruit varieties seemed to be the same colours as in the Irish flag. However many persimmons are still hanging on the now bare tree as you can see above. Anybody got any ideas what to do with under-ripe kaki?


Anonymous said...

My mother said you should peel it, then dry them. The drying allows the fruit to sweeten.

Anonymous said...

From your picture the persimmon looks like a non-astringent type but from your description it obviously contained a lot of tannins...persimmons are native in China so whenever we encounter unripe ones we bury them in a sack of rice for 3+ days and check thereafter until softened.

Gaia's Hope said...

the better is to wait
I love these fruits, I have a small tree in my plot, they are sooooo tasty and sweet when rippen in tree

Another way to rippen is to put them in refrigerator for one day or to close them in a paper bag with one orange and a lemon for 2-3 days

Anonymous said...

The method I heard is to add some green apples to the kakis and leave them to ripen in a cellar.