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Fall's Tasty Treat

Oct 02, 2017

Persimmons are a sweet fall treat often used in breads, puddings and pies. They're also a favorite for wildlife so you may have to race the raccoons to harvest them. 

This homegrown fruit comes from a common midwestern tree that is very distinct.  The wood is very hard and dense which is ideal for golf club heads and billiard cues.  The fruit is what it's known for and is highly favored for fall recipes.

The orange fruit usually ripens around the first frost.  Be sure the fruit is completely ripe before eating one, because nothing can make you pucker more than a green persimmon.  Scout for orange ones that are soft and mushy.  The easiest method to harvest persimmons is to gather fruits that have fallen to the ground.  The aroma is wonderful.  You will also be competing with opossums and birds for your harvest.

After you've collected your fruit, strain the persimmons through a colander to remove the large seeds.  You'll end up with pulp, which is smooth and bright orange.  Now you're ready to make the pulp into bread, pudding, pie, butter or jelly.  There are many recipes out there to get you started and add that taste of the wild, including one for fudge in the video below. 

The Secret Life of Persimmons

  • Native Americans, explorers, settlers and others have all enjoyed persimmons.
  • The fruits are notoriously astringent if they are eaten unripe.
  • Persimmons are a very important wildlife food, and it is eaten by many birds, as well as squirrels, wild turkey and deer.
  • A pioneering tree in disturbed landscapes, the persimmon plays an important role in reestablishing a mature ecosystem.
  • Most people agree that persimmons taste best when they get so soft the skin starts to sag and the pulp is mushy.

To discover more about persimmons, visit our Field Guide.

Click Right through the Media Gallery below to see views of a Persimmon Tree.


Persimmons ripening in fall leaf litter
Although ripe persimmons offer a sweet treat, one bite of an unripe persimmon will make you pucker.

Persimmon Fudge recipe

A homegrown treat and recipe
A homegrown treat and recipe

green fruit.png

Unripened fruit on Persimmon Tree
Unripened fruit on Persimmon Tree


Persimmon Tree Bark
Persimmon Tree Bark

WS persimmontree.png

Persimmon tree with fall fruit
Persimmon Tree with Fall Fruit

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You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
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