I planted this Asian Persimmon tree four years ago. It set a few fruits last year, but they didn’t stay on the tree long enough to ripen. This is the first year for us to harvest any of these.
Ichi Ki Kei Jiro is one of the persimmons that is supposed to be completely devoid of that usual persimmon-astringency. That has turned out to be absolutely true for the fruits on this little tree.
After years of eating native persimmons, it’s a little strange to bite into a hard persimmon without its biting back, but these fruits can be eaten when they are hard like apples. They are an odd color for “apples,” but when they turn orange, even if they are still quite firm, they are sweet and non-astringent.
However, just because they CAN be eaten when hard, that doesn’t mean it’s the best plan.
We tried a couple of these when they were still as firm as apples, and they were fine, but then we waited for one to soften some, to see what that would be like, and the wait was totally worthwhile.
The mushy-soft persimmon had a lot more flavor than just sugary sweetness. We sliced it in half and ate the soft pulpy innards out with a spoon, and the flavor approached the “food of the gods” aspect of native persimmons that their Latin name implies.
The rest of these bright orange fruits aren’t coming into the kitchen until they start turning brown and mushy and looking like they might be “going bad,” because that is when they will just be getting good.