Mythologically speaking, persimmons are a symbol of enlightenment. Bitter and acrid (with ignorance) at first and maturing into a mellow sweet phase (of wisdom), these fruits are a metaphor for a life of learning and growing, or at least mellowing out. One variety, the Hachiya, has to be especially ripe before eating. The Fuyu can be eaten before it’s ripe for a taste of that bitterness.

John Mahin, chef, Stella Barra Pizzeria, Santa Monica, Calif.

Price: $18.95

Another participant in Santa Monica Restaurant Week’s persimmon fest, Lettuce Entertain You’s artisanal pizza place Stella Barra, got their persimmon on with this LTO pizza. Persimmons get fired up and cozy with taleggio cheese, Fresno chili, a handful of fresh herbs and bacon from San Francisco Bay area veteran smoke shop Hobbs’ Applewood Smoked Meats.