Kaki, or persimmon as the fruit is also called, is best eaten when fully ripe, although determining ripeness depends on the type of kaki. Kakis are split into two distinct types: astringent and non-astringent.
Non-astringent kaki, such as fuyu, remains firm when ripe and can be easily sliced. Non-astringent kaki is eaten fresh, on salads or baked in pies.
The astringent type is not fully ripe until it is rather soft and almost mushy. Because the juices and flesh of these kaki are likely to splash out if bitten into, these are best cut in half and the flesh scooped from them. Astringent types are commonly hachiya kakis and work well in jams and compotes.