Fuyu You

Persimmons are fall's fruit of the gods

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Like pumpkins and gourds, persimmons are a sure sign of fall. The fruit looks like a tomato crossed with an orange, and has a spicy-sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon.

And right now, you can't walk through a farmers' market without seeing bins full of Fuyus and Hachiyas, the most common varieties.

The squat, orange-colored Fuyus are crisp, like apples, and get softer as they ripen. Eat them straight, or slice and toss them with baby greens, toasted pecans and lemon-olive oil vinaigrette, as Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook, recommends.

Chefs prize the delicate, heart-shaped Hachiyas for their soft, custardy texture. At Tavern, pastry chef Breanne Varela plays up the fruit's butteriness in her classic persimmon pudding.

But at Ford's Filling Station, chef Ben Ford prefers very ripe Fuyus for his easy persimmon bread pudding–even soft, they're sturdier than the Hachiya. Served warm, this decadent dessert calls out for a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream (click here for the recipe).

When selecting either variety, make sure they're ripe (or they'll be too tannic) and soft to the touch. And don't worry about those freckles on the skin: They're completely normal.