Fall Compote with Pears, Persimmons, and Figs
Persimmons, Fruit of the Gods
This recipe comes from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I served it on a bed of Arugula. I thought arugula was a devine compliment to the fruit. Arugula is a little skunky and bitter. You may prefer baby spinach or romaine. But look at it. It's so beautiful, the world falls away for a minute and you are in the Mediterranean. Take the first bite and, well, it's a party of flavors and textures.
2 Fuyu Persimmons
The Fuyu Persimmon is on the left. She's squat and firm. When you bite into a Fuyu your teeth break through a tough skin and fall suddenly into the soft interior. It's a surprise. Not like any other fruit. It's sweet.
The Persimmon on the right is the beautiful Hachiya Persimmon and the one you are most likely familiar with. Hachiya is tricky. You have to wait and wait and wait and wait for it to be soft, almost mushy, before you can eat it. If you don't wait, and bite into it too soon, you may never want to look at a persimmon again. It's astrigent and will numb your lips and tongue. I've seen grown men spit it out.
Remove the cores and ends - I found the Melon Baller to be the perfect tool for this job.