What Fuyu do?

Photo By illustration by mark stivers

Fuyu persimmons are in full swing at the markets right now. They’re perfectly plump and so ripe they practically glow. Of the two major persimmon varieties, Fuyus are the squat, pumpkinlike of the two (the other being the heart-shaped, jelly-filled Hachiya).

Many people see them at the market but seem to be at a loss as how to cook them. And, honestly, when was the last time you saw persimmons anywhere on a restaurant menu in Sacramento? Seems even the chefs—savory and pastry—aren’t sure, along with the most talented bartenders.

Fuyus are a dandy replacement for carrots, zucchini or apples in most baked goods. For example, carrot cake has a slightly richer, spicier flavor when Fuyus are used instead. They also imbue baked goods with a slightly honeylike scent.

I prefer to serve them as a side dish by simply peeling, chopping, tossing them in oil and thyme and baking them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Savory options include stir-frying the fruit with beef or tossing it into curry. Lastly, roasted persimmon-infused tequila makes for a subtle and intriguing drink.