Highlight the seasonal fruit in these excellent dishes for a fall dinner party or Thanksgiving feast.

You Can’t Find It in Most Grocery Stores but This Is the Ultimate Fall Fruit
Alex Farnum

Come autumn, apples abound, pears persevere, and grapes go big, but one of sweetest, prettiest, most versatile fall fruits is rarely to be found in the grocery store. But is more than worth any planned pilgrimage to a farmer’s market where someone devoted to the fleeting  pleasures of this exquisite fruit has trucked them in to give joy to those who seek it. 

This fruit is the essence of autumn in a saturated orange globe that can be crisp and astringent or pudding soft and sweet depending on when you eat it on its varied spectrum of ripening. 

For those who haven’t figured it out, I’m talking about the persimmon. Originally from China, beloved in Korea and Japan, and a common backyard tree in some neighborhoods in Los Angeles (including my own), the persimmon is to me the most autumnal of fruits enjoyed in the West, symbolic of both the season and the place. You can use the crisp early season persimmons sliced in salads or  jammier sweeter riper fruit in baked goods or just put them in a bowl for an autumnal punch of color in your kitchen or on the mantel. 

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Just remember to look for the rounder, tomato-shaped fuyu variety for maximum versatility in dishes. The hachiya variety can be overwhelmingly astringent unless super ripe. But if you want to try your hand at that cheffy favorite hobby of hoshigaki, the artisanal culinary art of painstakingly drying persimmons, hachiya are preferred. For the rest of us weeknight cooks, we’ve got a ton of easy and excellent persimmon recipes for salads, slab pies, streusels, and tarts. 

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