Plum – A Versatile Fruit

Plums are available in a wide variety and come in many colours: oval, round, dark blue, black, red or yellow. The flavour too can vary from juicy and sweet to aromatic and slightly bitter. However, all plums have one thing in common: their sweet taste encapsulates the flavour of the late summer months and they can be turned into delicious cakes, jams or savoury sauces. Due to their comparatively high sugar content, plums supply you with a rush of energy. They are also higher in calories than other fruits.

Food Facts Food Facts

Plum

Class

prunus

Calories

50 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

10.2g carbohydrate, 1.6g fibre, 0.2g fat, 0.6g protein per 100g

Season

July to October

Storage

store unwashed, cool and dry

Shelf life

up to 7 days

Plums – Types

Although most people think of plums as thPlumse slightly oval, violet-coloured fruit with bright orange or yellow flesh, this is actually one type of plum – the European plum. In fact, there are many different types with many variations in shape, colour and flavour. The European plum is the most widespread in Europe and the USA. Due to its sweet flavour, it has many different uses – eaten fresh, used for baking cakes, fermented to make alcoholic beverages or dried and turned into prunes.

Japanese plums, originally from China, are less sweet and slightly sourer in taste than the European plum, making them unsuitable for drying. They range in shape from round to heart-shaped and come in a variety of colours. Other types include greengage and mirabelle plums, both of which are smaller and rounder than the classic plum. Mirabelle plums are bright yellow and very sweet. Greengage plums on the other hand have a green skin and a more aromatic flavour than other types of plums. 

Plums – A Healthy Summer Snack

Regardless of which shape or colour, all plums contain lots of vitamins and minerals like provitamin A and vitamins B, C and E. Zinc, iron, potassium and calcium are also found in this sweet fruit. Polyphenol, another nutrient in plums, is said to have preventative properties for various illnesses. However, you should refrain from eating too many plums at once as they can act as a laxative - the indigestible substances, cellulose and pectin, can stimulate intestinal activity. On the other hand, if a digestive aid is needed, then soaked, dried plums are a good option for breakfast.

Plums – Purchasing Advice

When buying fresh plums you should ensure that the protective wax coating is still intact. Plums should have a deep, dark colour, feel firm and only give way slightly under pressure. Overly soft plums are overripe and often worm-infested.

On the other hand, should plums be too firm, they will continue to ripen if stored at room temperature for one to two days. Ripe plums should be stored in the cool and dark, ideally in the fridge, where they can last for up to a week. The waxy coating should not be washed off as it protects the fruit from drying out. Only wash plums directly before eating them. 

Plums – Straight From the Tree or in a Fruit Cake

Plums can of course be eaten raw. Should you want to cook or bake with them, the stone must first be removed using a pointy knife to halve the plum along the natural groove. Depending on the type of plum, the halves will then be more or less easy to remove from the stone. Once the stone is removed, plums can be used for cake or to make jam. As an ingredient in savoury dishes plums are combinable in a number of ways – as chutney with ginger, orange and anise or in a fruity sauce.

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