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Scientific Name: Diospyros kaki
Other Names: Kaki Persimmon, Asian Persimmon
The persimmon (kaki) is a sweet, slightly tangy fruit with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. This species, native to China, is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of East Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century. In many cultivars, known as the astringent varieties, the fruit has a high proanthocyanidin-type tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The Japanese cultivar 'Hachiya' is a widely grown astringent cultivar. Some cultivars, such as Fuyu, do not contain tannins when firm, and can be eaten like an apple, or can be allowed to go to any stage of ripeness, including to the jelly-like stage. These non-astringent varieties are considered to have a less complex flavor.