You’ll find two persimmon types, identified by shape: flatter, smaller fuyus and elongated, pointy-end hachiyas. Their distinguishing factor is texture: Fuyus are eaten when firm, hachiyas when completely soft (store at room temperature to fully ripen). Both kinds provide vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and abundant beta-carotene, indicated by their deep orange color.
Once hachiyas are mushy, cut open, scoop out the pulp, and eat; freeze the pulp for a one-ingredient sorbet (or blend with cream and a little ground ginger for extra richness). The pulp adds a lovely tangy-sweet taste to smoothies, oatmeal, and pudding, and can be blended into banana-bread or carrot-cake batter.
For a simple but unusual jam, combine 2 cups ripe persimmon pulp with 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice, and a little orange zest; simmer, stirring, until thickened.
Chop firm fuyu persimmons (peeled or not) and add to chicken salad along with dried cranberries and a bit of tarragon. Eat the slices straight, sprinkled with lime juice, spread with nut butter, or paired with cheese and pears. Substitute diced fuyu for half of the apples in your next fall cobbler.