In the vast world of fruit, there are hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Medlar and persimmon are two intriguing examples that captivate our senses with their distinctive flavors, aromas, and textures. While both fruits may be less commonly encountered compared to mainstream favorites, they possess a charm that leaves a lasting impression on those daring enough to explore their unique characteristics. In this article, we delve into the captivating world of medlar and persimmon, comparing and contrasting these fruits to shed light on their individual allure.
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Medlar Vs Persimmon: Which Is The Most Productive?
When comparing the productivity of fruit trees, several factors come into play, including the specific cultivar, growing conditions, and care provided. In the case of medlar and persimmon trees, it is generally observed that persimmons tend to be more productive than medlars.
Persimmon trees are known for their ability to yield a significant amount of fruit once they reach maturity. Depending on the cultivar and favorable growing conditions, a well-established tree can produce a substantial harvest.
The exact yield varies based on factors such as the age of the tree, pollination, and overall health. However, it is not uncommon for a healthy persimmon tree to provide a bountiful crop.
Medlars on the other hand, typically have a lower overall productivity compared to persimmon trees. However, medlar trees are appreciated not only for their fruit production but also for their ornamental value, attractive flowers, and unique cultural significance.
Both medlar and persimmon trees will provide a satisfying harvest for home gardeners or orchard owners. By selecting suitable cultivars, providing proper care, and ensuring optimal growing conditions, you can maximize the productivity of either tree and enjoy the rewards for many years.
Medlar Vs Persimmon Similarities & Differences
First, we’ll delve into the realm of the medlar. Known for its ancient European heritage and rustic charm, medlar fruit brings an air of mystery and uniqueness to the table.
Persimmons are also a captivating fruit that hails from various corners of the globe. There are many different varieties, such as the crisp and refreshing Fuyu and the jelly-like goodness of the Hachiya persimmon.
Both medlar and persimmon have to be ripened fully to avoid being overly dry and astringent. With persimmon, there is a delicate balance between astringency and succulent sweetness. While with medlars they must go through a form of fermentation “bletting” before they are ready to eat.
Let’s look further at some of their differences and similarities.
Medlars are relatively small, typically around 1.5 to 2 inches (4 to 5 centimeters) in diameter. They have a rounded shape with a slightly flattened base. The skin of medlars is thin and turns golden-yellow to brownish as it ripens in late autumn.
Persimmons come in various varieties, but a couple of the more common ones are the Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyu persimmons are squat and round, resembling tomatoes, while Hachiya is more acorn-shaped.
Persimmon skins range in color from yellow-orange to deep orange, depending on the variety and ripeness.
Medlars are known for their unique flavor profile. When fully bletted (softened), they have a sweet, aromatic taste similar to a combination of apple, pear, and date. The flavor can have hints of wine or fermentation due to the bletting process.
The flavor of persimmons varies depending on the variety and ripeness stage. Fuyu’s are sweet and have a crisp, apple-like texture even when they are firm.
Hachiya persimmons, on the other hand, are highly astringent when unripe but become sweet and jelly-like when fully ripened. They have a rich, sweet, and almost honey-like flavor.
Bletted medlars can be used in various culinary preparations. The softened flesh can be scooped out and eaten as is, or used in jams, jellies, and smoothies. Medlars can also be used in baking, adding a unique flavor to cakes, pies, or tarts. Medlar cheese is a firm jelly-like confection popular around the winter festive period.
Persimmons are versatile fruits and Fuyu can be eaten while still firm, are often consumed fresh, sliced into salads, or used as a topping for desserts. Hachiya, due to its jelly-like texture when ripe, is more commonly used in baking, such as in puddings, bread, cakes, or as a filling for cookies.
When unripe, Medlar fruit is highly astringent and unpleasant to eat. It must go through the bletting process to develop its desirable flavors.
Hachiya persimmons, when unripe, are extremely astringent and can cause a dry, puckering sensation in the mouth. They must be fully ripe and jelly-soft before consuming. Fuyu persimmons, however, are non-astringent and can be enjoyed even when they are firm.
Medlar Vs Persimmon – Which Tree Is Easier To Care For?
When it comes to ease of care and disease resistance, both medlar and persimmon trees have their own strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics.
Specific disease resistance varies between cultivars within each species. Some may have enhanced disease resistance or require specific care considerations. Therefore, it’s advisable to research and select disease-resistant varieties and consult local gardening resources and experts for guidance specific to your region.
Overall, both medlar and persimmon trees are generally considered easy to care for with good disease resistance. When provided proper care, including suitable growing conditions, regular monitoring, and addressing issues promptly, you can help ensure the health and productivity of either tree.
One of the great similarities shared by both medlar and persimmon is that they are fall and winter fruit.
Here is a video with some other fall and winter fruits for you to consider in warmer climates:
What is Medlar Fruit Similar To?
Medlar fruit and quince share some similarities in terms of flavor and culinary uses. Both fruits have a unique taste and texture that sets them apart from more commonly consumed fruits. Here are some similarities between medlar fruit and quince:
- Astringency – Both medlar and quince are known for their astringent nature when consumed raw. They have high levels of tannins, which give them a dry, unpleasant sensation in the mouth. Due to this, they are not eaten raw and require cooking or a ripening process to become palatable.
- Culinary uses – Medlar and quince can be used in cooking and are usually processed into jams, jellies, and preserves. The cooking process helps reduce their astringency, transforming them into flavorful and aromatic ingredients.
- Texture – When cooked or bletted, both medlar and quince develop a soft, tender texture. They can become smooth and creamy, making them suitable for various dessert recipes.
- Unique flavors – Medlar and quince have distinct flavors that are unlike more familiar fruits. Bletted medlar has a sweet and aromatic taste with hints of apple, pear, and date. Quince, when cooked, has a unique flavor described as floral, citrusy, and somewhat tart.
Quince has a more pronounced tartness and floral aroma compared to medlar and the appearance and shape of the two fruits differ, with quince typically having a larger, more irregular shape.
What Is Persimmon Fruit Similar To?
Persimmons have a unique flavor and texture that is distinct from most other fruits. However, there are a few that share some similarities in terms of taste, texture, or culinary uses.
- Mango – For me, ripe mangoes are one of the closest in texture to a persimmon, especially when they are soft and juicy. Both offer a sweet and luscious flavor, although mango is more perfumed.
- Apricot – The texture of ripe apricots is somewhat reminiscent of certain types of persimmons. They both have juicy flesh although apricots are more tangy and tart compared to persimmons, they offer a similar mouthfeel.
- Plum – Some varieties of plums, particularly the juicier and softer ones, share similarities in texture with persimmons. They both have a sweet, juicy taste, although persimmons don’t have the same kind of tartness found in plumbs.
- Nectarines – Slightly under-ripe nectarines are similar to Fuyu persimmons. When soft and fully ripe nectarines are more like fully ripened Hachiya persimmons. Nectarines have a more acidic and tangy flavor compared to the sweet and sometimes honey-like taste of persimmons.
While these fruits may have some similarities to persimmons in certain aspects, the flavor, texture, and overall experience of eating persimmons are quite unique and truly delicious. Persimmons have their own distinct flavor profile that sets them apart from most other fruits.
Persimmons belong to the Ebenaceae plant family, commonly known as the ebony family. There are several other fruits in this family that are related to persimmons.
Ebony Diospyros species
The genus Diospyros includes various species of ebony trees, many of which produce edible fruits similar to persimmons. These include Diospyros lotus (date plum), Diospyros kaki (Japanese persimmon), Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon), Diospyros virginiana (American persimmon), and Diospyros blancoi (Mabolo persimmon).
Mabolo Persimmon (Diospyros blancoi), also called velvet apple or butter fruit, is closely related to Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki). It is native to Southeast Asia and produces large, round fruits that are soft, sweet, and custard-like.
Texas or Black Persimmon (Diospyros texana) is native to Texas and Mexico. It is a small, bushy tree that produces small black fruits. The Texas persimmon has a more astringent and tart flavor compared to its sweeter counterparts.
American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is another black variety of Persimmon native to the United States. These fruits are typically small and the flesh can vary in taste and texture, ranging from sweet to slightly astringent.
Kaki persimmons, my personal favorite, are also known as Japanese or Asian persimmons. Notably, they are non-astringent, unlike other persimmon varieties.
While other persimmons, such as the Hachiya are highly astringent when unripe, kaki persimmons can be eaten even when they are firm without causing the unpleasant dry sensation in the mouth. This makes kaki persimmons more accessible for immediate consumption.
Kaki are typically larger and have a rounder shape compared to other varieties. They can range in size from small to quite large, resembling a large tomato or apple. Their size and shape make them visually distinctive and attractive.
When fully ripe, kaki persimmons exhibit a vibrant orange-red color. The skin of ripe kaki persimmons is smooth and glossy, further enhancing their visual appeal.
There are different cultivars of kaki persimmons, each with its own characteristics and flavor profiles. Some popular cultivars include Fuyu, Jiro, and Hana Fuyu, which may have slight variations in taste, texture, and ripening times.
Kaki persimmons offer a delightful eating experience with their sweet flavor, non-astringent nature, and versatility in culinary applications plus they have been seen to have a great range of health benefits.
Medlar and persimmon are two fascinating fruits with their own distinct qualities. While persimmons tend to be more productive than medlars, both trees can provide a satisfying harvest when given proper care.
Medlar fruit brings a sense of their ancient Asian and European heritage along with unique flavors that require fermentation through bletting before consumption.
Persimmons offer a range of varieties with different textures and flavors, from crisp and apple-like to jelly-like sweetness.
Both fruits have culinary uses, medlars usually being used in jams, jellies, and baking, while persimmons are enjoyed fresh, in salads, or as dessert toppings.
Medlars share some similarities with quinces, including astringency and culinary uses, while persimmons have resemblances to mangoes, apricots, plums, and nectarines in terms of texture and flavor.
Ultimately, both medlar and persimmon trees are relatively easy to care for, and with proper attention, they can thrive and provide delicious fruits for years to come.
Learn more about growing quince, persimmon and other trees in our range of articles, including this guide on medlars vs loquats.