The persimmon or paw-paw is native to japan but mostly grows in the US in the south. When you see them in the stores they have a nice clear skin and are nice and firm and if you bite into it it will turn your face inside out from the puckering.
A friend of mine from N. Carolina taught me that when the skins are splotchy and diseased looking, and you can squeeze them enough to touch two fingers together without breaking the skin, then they are ready to eat. And they are quite sweet.
Most produce guys in stores up here in the north try to sell them at the firm and pretty stage. People that dont know them buy one and never buy another and the produce guy is stuck with a load of what he thinks is rotting fruit.
If you live in southern California why dont you try growing your own? Maybe a letter to a county agent in one of the southern states like georgia or alabama will get you some help. Then you could sell them to a locfal fruit stand at $2. a pop and make a few bucks.
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