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an unripe persimmon gives an unpleasant, furry feeling on the tongue. You can find out whether the fruits are harmful to your health in this guide.

In a nutshell

  • the furry coating is caused by tannins
  • the tannins indicate unripe fruit
  • post-ripening is necessary before consumption
  • the bitter substances are not harmful to health
  • Persimmons without bitter substances also exist

Furry feeling: unhealthy?

If you feel a furry sensation in your mouth after eating a persimmon (Diospyros kaki), this is due to the tannins contained in the peel. These are tannins that have an astringent effect on the taste buds of the tongue. This means that in addition to the furry feeling, you will also notice a bitter taste that literally contracts the mouth. What does that mean? The fruits are immature. But you don't have to worry. The tannins are not harmful to health, but protect the plant from predators until seed formation.

Other signs of immature persimmons as follows (so you don't have to bite into them):

  • hard pulp
  • solid shell
  • mostly lighter color

Tip: If you grow persimmons yourself, harvest them as late as possible. As a result, you do not run the risk of consuming bitter fruits so quickly.

Lighter colored and harder fleshed persimmons are often underripe and their skin contains tannins that leave a furry mouthfeel.

Allow persimmons to ripen

So that you can still enjoy the delicious fruits, you should let them ripen well beforehand. The commercially available specimens are offered immature so that they can be preserved and sold over a longer period of time. The after-ripening of the fruit of the gods is so important for this reason.

What you have to consider:

  • store at cool room temperatures
  • alternatively in the refrigerator
  • it should not be too dry
  • regularly check for hardness
  • ripe fruits are very soft

Tip: You can speed up the ripening process by placing an apple or two right next to the persimmons. Since they emit the ripening gas ethylene, the fruit of the gods ripens faster.

This ripe persimmon is soft and richly colored orange. It contains less or hardly any bitter substances.

frequently asked Questions

Are there persimmons that can be eaten without post-ripening?

Yes, there are variants of the fruit that contain hardly any bitter substances in their skin. For this reason, you can consume them directly without any problems and without a furry feeling in the mouth. Variants that can be consumed directly include the sharon fruit, persimmon and the fuyu, which is particularly popular in Japan. They can all be eaten directly, like an apple, as long as you remove the leaves first.

Why do persimmons get mushy from storage?

If you don't eat ripe persimmons within two to three days, they will become extremely soft. Even refrigerated, they should not be stored for too long, as the otherwise pleasant structure quickly becomes mushy, making it much harder to eat. If you bought large quantities of the fruit or harvested it yourself, it is best to process it into jam, chutney or sweet pastries.

Are dark spots in the flesh of the fruit of the gods unhealthy?

No, these are only areas with a higher sugar content. These are not harmful to health and can be consumed without any problems. They often develop during storage or when the affected areas are subjected to greater pressure.

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