Our version is kaki season. That's right, persimmons are in full-force right about now. Their leaves turn, fall and leave these gorgeous shiny orange fruits on a bare tree.
There are two kinds of persimmons.
Hachiya persimmons are longer, with a pointed tip at the bottom. These are the kind that are used for drying into hoshigaki (literally, dried persimmon). They can also be used for cooking/baking
The important thing to know here is that one DOES NOT eat Hachiya persimmons when they are firm because the Do Not Taste Good at that time. They may look pretty, but they are very much Not Ripe At All.
If eating, best to wait until it is very, very squishy, to the point where the skin is pretty much the only thing holding the fruit together. If you freeze it at that point, you can eat it as a kind of persimmon shave ice.
These are best peeled and eaten crisp/slightly hard, like an apple. They don't cook or bake so well, which I suppose is why I've never seen a recipe for persimmon pie.
Best to enjoy it while it lasts.
A big mahalo to a very talented graphic designer/ photographer who graciously agreed to let me showcase these images.
They are from Otow Farms, open in 1911, survived through internment and WW2, and still family-run in what is now Granite Bay, CA.