Along one of the places I walk, there are some wild American persimmon trees. These persimmons are different than the ones you see at the grocery store, which are Japanese persimmons, generally. American persimmons are smaller, about the size of a ping pong ball, and a much more muted orange color, like the color of pumpkin butter. T The alligator bark on the very tall but somewhat thin trees is unmistakable. Persimmons grow way up high, so you’ll have to pick yours off the ground.
They are ripe when they look overripe- when they are so soft and squishy that their skin wrinkles slightly and splits or squishes easily when touched. You’ll think that you’ve gotten to them too late, but that’s exactly when a persimmon has reached its perfection. They have a texture like homemade jam or over-evaporated fruit butter- not solid and very thick without exactly being a liquid. There are about 4-6 seeds in each fruit, and they are large and easy to pick out while eating.
There are many things that a persimmon can be made into, however, I’ve only eaten them raw so far. I took a very small harvest this year, dodging drunk wasps who also feast on the (slightly fermented) fruits. These persimmons were delicious.