Judging Persimmon Ripeness: 5 Criteria
by Mike Krebillpersimmonpudding.com
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A common misconception is that the orange, smooth skinned, perfect-looking fruits hanging on the tree are ripe. Not so! Try tasting one! When persimmons are fully ripe, they become soft and wrinkled and drop to the ground, or they are easily shaken from the tree. That’s how the ones on the right were gathered.
These five persimmons, found on the ground as a result of strong winds, were still tightly attached to twigs. They had an unpleasant taste. Fully ripe persimmons do not cling to the twig.
On the ground, not attached to a twig, soft and wrinkled: this persimmon meets the first three criteria for ripeness.
Here, the stiff, four to five-parted brown calyx is facing you. The calyx is formed of partially united sepals that originally covered the flower bud. Hold the orange fruit with the fingers of one hand. Use the fingers of the other hand to gently twist the calyx, as if trying to unscrew it from the fruit. If it easily twists off, the persimmon is ripe and will have a good taste, with no unpleasant aftertaste.
The calyx was easy to twist off this persimmon. Since it met the first four criteria, it is worth harvesting. There’s no need to resort to step five... unless you are hungry!