According to traditional weather folklore, you can predict winter weather with a persimmon seed. Here’s how to do it! Plus, enjoy recipes for persimmon pudding and persimmon bread.
What Is a Persimmon?
Persimmons are small orange fruits that are about as big as a plum or a peach, depending on the type of persimmon. American persimmon trees (Diospyros virginiana) can be found growing wild in USDA Zones 4 to 9, while Japanese persimmon trees (Diospyros kaki) thrive in only the warmer part of that range—Zones 7 to 9. Although the American trees are more widespread, they are not as prized for their fruit, which is smaller and of lesser quality than that of the Japanese persimmon.
They are comparatively less well known than fruits like plums and apples, but persimmons can be seen in grocery stores and farmers’ markets across the U.S. during the autumn season. Before they’re ripe, the fruit has a very astringent taste, but this mellows as the fruit softens. Persimmons are also packed with Vitamin A!
For the purposes of weather forecasting, you’ll want to get your hands on an American persimmon, as most Japanese persimmon varieties are seedless. Try local farmers’ markets or regional grocers first, as they’re more likely to have a local persimmon in stock.
How to Predict Weather With a Persimmon Seed
1. Find a locally-grown persimmon. (A locally-grown persimmon is necessary because it will reflect local conditions!) Wait to pick the fruit or cut into the fruit until after it gets a bit soft—almost mushy.
Persimmons have a unique fall flavor that is similar to pumpkin. Most persimmons are the “hachiya” variety. The fruit is very tart, so it’s often considered a baking fruit, adding its sweet flavor and moistness to pudding, bread, and pie. Persimmons can also be made into dried fruit, jam, ice cream, and even alcohol.
A ripe persimmon has a “squishy” body and a creamy texture. Ripen persimmons at room temperature. Place in a paper bag to speed up ripening.
Persimmon pudding is a baked dessert with the taste of pumpkin and the texture of gingerbread. This persimmon pudding recipe is from the “Indiana Nut Growers Cookbook” (1995), courtesy of the Indiana Nutgrowers Association.