Chocolate Persimmon (Diospyros kaki)
Question: I had a question about the chocolate persimmon. Is this the same tree as a black sapote? The latin name for the chocolate persimmon on the tag I bought from green thumb from lecooke.com is Diospyros kaki. However, the latin name for the black sapote seems to be Diospyros digyna. When I look on the Internet some sites say that the chocolate persimmon and the black sapote are the same. So, when I bought your chocolate persimmon from the green thumb was I buying a black sapote? Can you please clear this up for me? Thank you. Alan, Long Beach, CA
Ripe Black Sapote (Wikipedia - Creative Commons image by Alesh Houdek)
Answer: No. Black Sapote is not the same as our Chocolate Persimmon. According to Wikipedia: "Black Sapote (Diospyros nigra or Diospyros digyna)... Sapote are tomato-like and measure 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter, with an inedible skin that turns from olive to a deep yellow-green when ripe and a pulp which is white and inedible when unripe but assumes a flavor, color and texture often likened to "Chocolate pudding" when ripe.
Notice the description difference. Black Sapote, when ripe, has a olive to deep yellow-green skin. The Asian Chocolate Persimmon has a boldly orange skin. The Black Sapote has a tomato shape. The Asian Chocolate Persimmon is elongated, much like a smaller sized Hachiya Persimmon. I cannot speak about the taste since I have not eaten a Black Sapote.
There is some commonality. The Asian Chocolate Persimmon must be eaten ripe or at least when the flesh turns chocolaty color. When ripe, the internal seed splits and releases compounds that changes not only the color of the flesh, but also changes it from astringent to non-astringent. If you find one that is seedless, then it will be astringent until ripe - "pudding soft".
Ron Ludekens 9-4-2014
More information on our Chocolate Persimmon: Information Page
More Chocolate Persimmon photos: Photos