It's that bittersweet time of year when the persimmon trees rain pithy packets of flavor onto the lawns of bemused homeowners who behold the fruitful crop and think, "What the hell am I gonna do with this?"
It depends on what kind of persimmons you've got, says chef Andrew Chadwick, who occasionally ships in a batch of the autumnal fruit from California to his restaurant on Rutledge Hill. If you've got a non-astringent kind--such as the Fuyu persimmons pictured above--he recommends shaving them with a mandolin and tossing thin slices in a salad of frisée.
If you've got an astringent variety--such as the Hachiya persimmon, which is larger and more elongated than the Fuyu--you need to be sure they're really ripe, or the bitterness will punish your palate. When they're nice and soft, Chadwick likes to plate them with lobster, or he recommends steaming them in a traditional pudding or just eating them plain.
If you are not lucky enough to have a persimmon tree bestowing its orange bounty onto your lawn, you might try foraging at Whole Foods. While there aren't actually any persimmons in the Green Hills store right now, an associate said she expects to receive some very soon. Meanwhile, if you have any worthwhile recipes for persimmons--of any variety--please post them below.