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Making Pickles With Persimmon Fruit

 The persimmon tree is the common edible fruit of several species of trees belonging to the genus Diospyros. The most commonly cultivated is the Oriental persimmon, Diospyros flavimaculatus. It is in fact in the family Ebenaceae, and many other varieties of this genus are grown both for timber and for ebony wood. It is a native of Burma and Eastern India but now naturalized in parts of Australia, America, the Pacific Islands, and southern Africa.

The Persimmon grows up to thirty feet high and supports a wide distribution in almost all areas. It has a deciduous habit, which means that the leaves drop off in late winter, while the fruits hang into the ground in spring. When picking the fruits, care must be taken not to damage the stem or the seed. The flesh should be well wrinkled, with a bit of firmness around the seeds, as it will break easily. The seeds are a bit tough, but the pulp is mild in taste. The tree flowers in May or June, and the fruits are best eaten fresh.

The health benefits of this fruit have long been recognized. It has been used in Feng Shui as an effective antidote against indigestion, as well as heartburn. Some Indian physicians used it to treat diarrhea. In China it was used to treat diabetes.

The fresh fruit can be eaten or used in some form of medicine. If juiced, the fruit juices can be made into a refreshing drink. The juice can be used in any recipe requiring some healthy ingredients like lime and lemon drink. The health value of the fruit is therefore doubled when it is used in cooking recipes.

The best way to eat persimmon fruits is straight from the palm. It is best eaten as a dry snack. One very popular preparation is to cut off the skin and mash the fruit in a bowl. A spurt of honey may be added for sweetness. This fruit can be used to make cakes, cookies, muffins, puddings, and juices. It is best eaten raw.

The best way to preserve persimmons is to pick, cut off the skins, and cut off the seeds. Use fresh persimmons for cooking and soups. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Pickling the fruit is also an interesting idea. Use a cane grinder to grind the fruit until it becomes a powder, then use it in pickling dishes.

Dried persimmons can be kept on ice in bottles. Place them in a cup of cold water or in a basin with a light oil like olive oil. The persimmons should not be frozen to preserve their freshness. They should however be kept in the original container and wrapped in a damp cloth. When using dried persimmons, do not over dry them. Persimmons can be reused several times.

The best quality persimmons are picked at the peak of the season and dried at the end of it. This gives them a good preserved taste. Dried persimmons that have not been stored properly tend to lose their shape and color.

Drying persimmons is quick and easy. Place the persimmons on a rack or screen. Overhead tanks are available at most supermarkets. The persimmons can be left to dry in these tanks for as long as three days.

When picking the persimmons, choose ones that retain most of their edible value. Buy them from a trustworthy source and store them in glass containers. Buying persimmons in bulk will help reduce costs. Drying persimmons can also be made simpler by following recipes.

A simple pickling recipe can be prepared using dried persimmons. You can also use the flesh of the persimmons to make pickling paste. When using dried persimmons instead of the whole fruit, the flavor will be more concentrated.

To preserve persimmons, store them in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. To serve, remove the persimmons from the refrigerator and slice them into thin layers. These slices can be served chilled or used as spreads or added to desserts.