I recently read that freezing ripens astringent persimmons, and several articles on the internet said the same thing: Put a persimmon in the freezer overnight, thaw it out, and all the astringency would be gone.

However, some sites also said that freezing persimmons to ripen them was a myth, and that patience was the only real way to do it. I couldn't find a definitive answer, so I decided to put it to the test.

Picture
Frozen persimmon thawing on my desk .
I got an astringent persimmon from Glen Miracle of Laughing Frog Farm, and put it in the freezer overnight. After thawing it out, it was really soft and squishy, like an over-ripe tomato.
Picture
Down the hatch.....
 I cut it up and peeled it, and got ready for a test bite. It was delicious, with just a hint of an astringent aftertaste. I greedily ate the whole thing, and was quite happy with the freezer method....until the tummy rumbles started.

30 minutes after eating the persimmon, I started to get a pretty bad stomach ache, which still hasn't completely left me 3-4 hours later. The persimmon didn't taste astringent, so I thought all of the tannins had been denatured by freezing. However, it still had an astringent aftertaste, so maybe there were still enough tannins to make me feel sick, even though the fruit was palatable.

So either I didn't freeze it long enough, or freezing persimmons to ripen them really is a myth and the persimmon I has was already semi-ripe.. Based on how I feel right now, I won't be testing the 'freeze it longer' hypothesis. I'll let someone with a tougher stomach take on that one. I'll confer with with the experts on the fruit forums, and post any new developments. For the time being, I'll ripen the rest of my persimmons by letting them sit on the counter until mushy.

UPDATE - 11/15/2010:

I froze another persimmon, thawed it, and then left it in the freezer over the weekend. I pulled it out today and popped it in the microwave for 1 minute. Same result as last time, astringent aftertaste followed by nausea. At least I didn't eat the whole thing, just a few wary test bites. Soda seems to help with the stomach ache.

I'm very disappointed because I really want to like persimmons. I've already got two persimmon trees, and they fruit at a time when not much else is available. I've got one more persimmon ripening on my desk at work. I'll try it when it is super mushy, and hopefully it won't make me sick. If it does, I may have to just forget about persimmons altogether and replace those trees with something else.


UPDATE - 11/17/2010:

Glen Miracle very generously gave me three non-astringent Fuyu persimmons at the City Hall Farmers Market today. Now these are good. Really good. Nice and crisp, really sweet, with no astringent aftertaste. And even more important, no nausea or stomach ache. Glen's Fuyu's are much much better than the ones HEB was selling for $2.50 each. Those were sweet, but kind of rubbery, and they didn't look like they had ripened before picking. Glen's are bright orange red, and I look forward to finishing them off with Joe tonight. I still have one of his Hachiyas ripening on my desk, I'll post an update when I try it.
 


Comments

01/02/2012 12:34

http://thebellhouse.weebly.com/1/post/2010/11/ripening-astringent-persimmons-in-the-freezer.html

i think freezing hachiyas is a myth. no real shortcut to fully ripening the fruit. maybe in paper bag with apple, banana, or ethanol.

Reply
Adrian
05/28/2012 04:54

My favorite method is to peel the Hachiya persimmons whilst they are close to ripe but still firm, and to dry them slowly over an air vent for about ten days, with some campden tablets (preservative)ready (for making a solution to soak them in in case they start to become mouldy). I then freeze the dried fruit ready for eating. They are to die for! I dry some 200 fruit each year and they're all gone within a month.

Reply
DBM
12/02/2013 21:56

When you froze them did you thaw them slowly or quickly. I have one in the freezer right now. I eat the fuyus lots but I want to enjoy the hitachi's too.

I freeze bananas all the time and that causes them to ripen, hopefully this turns out.

Reply
DBM
12/02/2013 21:58

This is an interesting link on this very subject

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092552149800057X

Reply
DBM
12/02/2013 21:59

This is an interesting link on this very subject

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092552149800057X

Reply



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