A persimmon is not ready to eat until it has a soft consistency like jelly or pudding, though the fruit can be harvested and brought inside while still hard, so long as the branch the fruit hangs from is picked along with it. One way to be sure that a persimmon is ready to eat, is to press a finger against the skin of the fruit. If a fingerprint is left, the persimmon is ripe and delicious. Once they start getting soft they go bad very quickly, so it's good to prepare them so you can eat them. One way to prepare them is to cut them into slices, put them on parchment paper, and put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen you can put them in plastic bags until you need them. They are great in smoothies with pineapples. You can make persimmon ice cream or use the pulp for baking. Ripe persimmons can be put into a freezer bag and be frozen until you need them. For those who are interested in growing their own persimmons, there are several varieties of persimmon trees that are small enough for any size yard. Persimmon trees are quite hardy, and their wood very strong, making them fairly low maintenance.