Hachiya persimmons are rounded, slightly elongated and acorn-shaped, coming to a blunted point at their non-stem end. When fully ripe the fruits are a beautiful deep orange. Another indicator of ripeness is that the fruit should feel like a water balloon when resting in your hand. The skins are thin, similar to a tomato. The flesh is even deeper orange in color and more striking then the skin. When ripe the flesh is jellied in texture. The flavor is candy sweet and possesses nuances of baking spices, raisins and brown sugar.
The Hachiya persimmon, also known as Beekeeper, is botanically classified as Diospyros kaki 'Hachiya'. It is the fruit of a deciduous and evergreen tree of the Ebenaceae (Ebony) genus. The Hachiya is one of over 200 known species of persimmons, though it has been documented that there are over 1000 actual varieties. Persimmon trees evolve new varieties out of natural occurring mutations. Thus, there are new sub species that may or may not have been recorded over time. The Hachiya persimmon is a pollination constant type persimmon, which means that it does not require pollination to be non-astringent.
Ripe Hachiya persimmons can be eaten out of hand, the flesh cut in half and spooned out of its thin skin. It also happens to be a versatile winter fruit for many applications both sweet and savory. It can be made into purees, sherbets, ice creams, jams, compotes, puddings, breads, cakes, pies and tarts. Complimentary pairings include pomegranates, pears, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, cream, maple syrup, honey, prunes, dates, citrus zest, almonds, pistachios, light vinaigrette's, pork chops, shrimp, basil, chiles such as Thai and red serranos, aged hard cheeses such as Manchego and Parmesan cheese.