Persimmon trees grow up to around eight metres in height. They grow best in areas that have moderate winters and relatively mild summers.
They are broadly classified into two general categories: those that bear "astringent fruit" and those that bear "non-astringent" fruit.
The Magarey persimmon is "astringent" and is probably the variety known as the “Hachiya”. This variety is high in tannins and must be allowed to ripen fully until the flesh becomes as soft as jelly in consistency before it is fit to eat. The term astringent means that a furry taste is left in the mouth much like that of an unripe banana. Avoid it at all costs.
Many people have been terminally turned off persimmons because they have probably sampled an astringent variety before it is fully ripe.
But the appropriate amount of patience is very rewarding as you will find out when you sample the fully ripened persimmon.
The ripening process can take a few or several days, depending on temperature and the proximity of other fruit that gives off ethylene like bananas.
Nutritionally, the persimmon fruit contains very good amounts of vitamin A and beta carotene, and is a good source of dietary fibre and vitamins C and B6. They also contain essential minerals potassium and manganese and many other nutritional benefits.
Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried, raw, or cooked. When eaten fresh, the skin is usually cut/peeled off and the fruit can be cut into quarters or eaten whole like an apple. One way to consume very ripe persimmons is to remove the top leaf with a paring knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy and the texture is unique. The flesh is very sweet but is completely inedible until fully ripe.