While persimmons can be used in pies and tarts, you can also enjoy them plain. Choose from 'Hachiya', with a slightly elongated shape and sweet, soft flesh, and 'Fuyu', a squat, tomato-shaped variety that's eaten when crisp. 'Hyakume', or cinnamon persimmon, is a rarer firm variety that's flecked with brown.
To eat a ripe 'Hachiya', chill it, cut off the top, and spoon out the flesh. For firm persimmons, peel if desired, seed if necessary, and thinly slice crosswise. Add to salads; tuck them into cheese or ham sandwiches; or dress them with a squeeze of citrus for breakfast.
Persimmons are in markets now. Order 'Hyakume' from Melissa's Produce or 800/588-0151).