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Other Names

Diospyros kaki

French: kaki or plaquemine
Also: kaki


China, later taken to Korea and Japan

Growing conditions
Moderate climate with no hard frosts or prolonged heat

Family: Ebenaceae

No, the kaki has nothing to do with the color of military uniforms - it is a tomato look-alike and has adorned New Year's tables in China and Japan for over 1000 years.

Imagine a large tomato with smooth, slightly thinner skin, and shiny bright orange flesh. The persimmon tree on which the fruit grows can reach a height of 15 metres.

Fruit of the persimmon, a deciduous tree grown in many subtropical countries which can reach a height of 15 meters, has alternate, simple, ovate deciduous leaves. One species, originally from Asia, produces the persimmon or kaki fruit.

It appeared in France about a century ago but received a lukewarm reception because of its originally rather astringent taste. Asians began to develop new cultivars, successfully eliminating this drawback.

Nutritional Values per 100 g and Medicinal Properties

  • Calories: 60
  • Water: 83.5%
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 0.5 g
  • A good source of calcium and potassium

 Persimmons are an excellent source of vitamin C. Another of its characteristics is a high level of tannic acid (tannins) that disappears when the fruit is very ripe.


To protect yourself from winter colds and flu, make a healthful drink by liquefying a peeled persimmon and a peeled kiwi in a blender. This juice is rich in vitamin C and minerals.

Buying persimmons
Persimmons are eaten when very ripe so they will be at their sweetest. Unlike most fruits, it is when it is at its least attractive, with the outer skin slightly discoloured and the flesh almost soft, that the persimmon is at its best. But handle it carefully, because it will be very fragile.

If the persimmon is firm, and therefore not yet ripe, place it in a container with an apple: the gases given off as the apple ripens will promote the persimmon's ripening as well. Store in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator if you wish to stop it from ripening.

Cooking tips
You can simply cut the top off a plain persimmon, or slice it in half, and eat it with a spoon. The flesh is sweet, juicy and mild in flavour.

If you have to peel it, place it in the refrigerator for a few hours beforehand to facilitate the process.

When puréed, it makes wonderful sorbets, sauces and can accompany sweetbreads.

Steam the flesh of the persimmon for 5 minutes with a vanilla bean.


cooked as tempura to accompany shrimp

India - chutney
Mix 1 part persimmon purée with 2 parts plain yogurt; flavour with mint leaves and sesame seeds

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