The properties of persimmon
Persimmon is a very sweet fruit which is full of fibre. It is an autumn classic, and not just because of its colour. Discover all its benefits
fresh food26 December 2018
Autumn has the ability to fill the dining table with the colours of the landscape. Oranges, yellows and browns are present in seasonal fruits and vegetables. As the leaves fall from the trees, the pantries become filled with ingredients, from mushrooms to cauliflower, pumpkin and apple, not to mention chestnuts. One of the most attractive autumnal foods is persimmon, which has many beneficial properties and health benefits.
The Persimmon Tree, from Asia to Valencia
The persimmon tree comes from Asia. In Spanish the fruit is known as ‘caqui’, and the etymology of its name corresponds to ‘kaki’, the Japanese word 'persimmon', where it has been cultivated since the 8th century. Although it is well known today, it did not reach the United States and Europe until the 19th century. In Spain, there are plantations in Andalusia and the Valencian Community, but the main producing province is Valencia, which has the Denomination of Origin (DO) Kaki Ribera del Xúquer in the regions of the Ribera. The trees belong to the ebony family (Ebenaceae), which can reach up to 12 metres in height and which, moreover, lose their leaves with the arrival of autumn. The picture of the shiny persimmon detaching from the bare branches is a classic sight in the autumn.
Properties and benefits of persimmon
It tastes good, but it feels better. Persimmon has important benefits for the body. It is a source of carbohydrates, it is low in fats and rich in fibre. It is also a good source of vitamin A, therefore good for the eyes and for maintaining healthy skin and, thanks to its high fibre content, aids intestinal transit.
Persimmon season, until when?
In September the persimmon season begins. It lasts until the end of January and can extend to the first weeks of February. In these months, persimmons are present in supermarkets, and can even be bought online. When choosing the fruit, it is important to check the firmness of the pulp, which depends on the ripening process.
The persimmon Ribera del Xúquer belongs to the Brilliant Red variety, which can be found at the market in its Classic or Persimón form. The first is left to mature on the tree and is collected when the pulp is already soft, so it is very sweet and should be eaten with a spoon. In the case of Persimmon, which is highly valued on the market, a special procedure is followed. The fruit is harvested before ripening and is subjected to a process to reduce its astringency, so that its texture is hard and can be peeled like an apple without losing its flavour.