Farms

Hashimoto Persimmon Farm
20.7725971
-156.3206285
1372 Pulehuiki RoadKulaMaui(808) 878-1461Website

Markets

KCC Saturday Farmers Market
21.2709554
-157.79941889999998
4303 Diamond Head RdHonoluluOahu(808) 848-2074Website

Persimmon (Kaki, Kam, Hong Chee)

Though we think of persimmons as a fruit, they are actually edible berries. They grow on trees that are part of the Ebenacae family, known for ebony wood.  Persimmon were originally found in China and Japan, were there cultivated for centuries, then spread to Europe, Mid East and North America.  There are over 100 varieties of persimmons and they have been cultivated for both fruit and medicinal value, as well as wood.

In Hawaii, we are fortunate to have a persimmon farm in Kula on the island of Maui.  At 3,300 feet elevation, Hashimoto Farm’s five acres are in a perfect climate for persimmons and it shows in the health of their several hundred persimmon trees.  It is currently being operated by the fourth generation of Hashimotos, Clark Hashimoto. About 80 of their trees were planted by his great-grandfather.  The Hashimotos grow Maru and Fuyu variety of persimmons.

Varieties of persimmons display a range of shape (heart, spherical, pumpkin, acorn), color of ripe fruit (light yellow-orange to dark red-orange), and astringency (tannin content that when high lends a furry texture).

They have a high glucose content, which explains there exceedingly sweet taste and the display of white sugar that naturally coat dried persimmons (especially those traditionally hand massaged while drying).

Nutritionally, they contain a good amount of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

When ripe they can be eaten raw(skin and all), dried, or cooked. Very ripe persimmons can have the soft luxurious consistency of pudding and are very sweet.

Persimmon season (especially at Hashimoto) is the months of November and December.

Prepping and Eating Tips

– Always wash your persimmon well right before eating.

– To enjoy fresh, simply cut into thin wedges and enjoy. Skin can be eaten, but not seeds.

– Persimmons do not darken when cut so keep beautiful on your plate.

– Persimmon can be pureed and made into dressing, sauces, preserves.

– It can be used in desserts as a rare season ingredient – ice cream, sorbets, tarts, cookies, pies, scones, muffins.

– They can also be roasted.

– It can also be dried.

 

Selecting and Storing

Select persimmons that are saturated in color, taut skinned, glossy and free of cracks and bruises.

Store at room temperature and allow them to ripen.  Storing in paper bag can sometimes hasten ripening. Avoid refrigerating as this may result in chill damage.

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