SUMMER fruits are nearing season's end but there's another sweet treat coming to a grocer near you: persimmons.
Mark Chapman has 6ha of persimmon trees at his Euroa farm and expects to produce about 100 tonnes once they come into season in May.
"They're travelling really well ... this season's been good, they love the warm weather so they'll be sweeter than normal this year," he said.
Mr Chapman said the "sweet but mild" fruit, best eaten when crunchy, was growing in popularity.
"It's just about overcoming that fear of something you haven't seen or tasted before," he said. "We slice them up and people can't believe how good they taste."
MasterChef star Poh Ling Yeow has also been spruiking persimmons, which thrive in Asia and are used in everything from desserts to salads.
"Many Aussies are yet to try this exotic fruit, so this season I'm challenging everyone to be adventurous and give them a go," she said.
Australia produces about 2500 tonnes of persimmons each year. Most of the country's 300-odd growers are in Queensland, and tend to have persimmons as part of mixed orchards.
Mr Chapman is one of just a few growers in Victoria, where his grandfather first planted persimmon trees in the 1950s.
Mr Chapman said persimmons were a robust fruit and a good fit in his farm's schedule.
"It's a nice fruit that's out of season with the majority of summer fruits and autumn stone fruits ... they're something different," he said.
Persimmons Australia estimates about 15 per cent of produce will be exported this season, although this could shrink as the domestic market grows with the high Aussie dollar.
Visit Chapman Orchards at chappies.com.au