There are from 19 to 40 species of plums. Of these only two are of primary commercial use, the European and the Japanese plum. There are over 200 plum varieties derived from these two species, some sweet, some acidic, and some best suited for drying into prunes.
European plums probably originated in or near East European and Caucasian mountains, while the Japanese plum originated somewhere in China.
There are other species native to North America and Europe.
Plums are juicier than other stone fruits, and have a longer growing season.
Substitutes: (Any One Of) pluot (plum/apricot cross), aprium (apricot/plum cross) , loquat, prunes
How much does a plum weigh?
|1 Fruit||2-1/8″ Dia||66g||2.3oz|
This is a family of sweet, tropical fruits. Varieties include the black sapote (chocolate pudding fruit), the brown-skinned, pink-fleshed mamey sapote (mammee or mamey), and the white sapote (zapote blanco). Substitutes: (Any one of) sapodilla canistel soursop cherimoya persimmon plum peach mango
What You Need to Know about the Plums
The plum is one of the most important stone fruits in the world that people love for its delicious tart flavor. It belongs to the genus Prunus and is a close relative of the peach, cherry, and apricot. Possessing a great nutritional value, the plum is a perfect addition for jams and jellies.
Do you know that the plum is often thought of as the first fruit domesticated by humans? Read on to learn the interesting history of the plum and its popular uses today.
Plums are known to have flourished in different parts of the ancient world. Many believe that the plum could be the very first fruit cultivated since prehistoric times. Some claim that the plum originated in Iran, but the Chinese started cultivating the plum in 470 BC. Confucius occasionally praised the plum in his writings.
The Europeans domesticated the fruit more than 2,000 years ago where ancient Romans cultivated around 300 varieties of this fruit. In the 17th century, pilgrims brought the European plum to the United States.
The plum originating in China was introduced to the Japanese 200-400 years ago. From there, the fruit proliferated to the rest of the world.
Where Plums are Grown
Similar to other stone fruits, plums are grown in the temperate regions of the world. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, as of 2019, the leading producers of plums are China (7 million tonnes), Romania (0.69 million tonnes), Serbia (0.56 million tonnes), Chile (0.47 million tonnes), Iran (0.36 million tonnes), and the United States (0.34 million tonnes). Overall, 12.6 million tonnes of plums were produced throughout the world in the year 2019.
Plums are known for their richness in various bioactive compounds such as phenolic acid, anthocyanins, carotenoids, minerals, and pectins. They also contain a moderate amount of vitamin C, B vitamins, phosphorus, and magnesium.
According to Nutrition Data, one plum contains the following:
- Calories: 30
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Sugars: 7 grams
- Vitamin A: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 10% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
- Potassium: 3% of the RDI
- Copper: 2% of the RDI
- Manganese: 2% of the RDI
Types of Plums
Plums have different varieties which differ in look and flavor. Here are some of the popular breeds of plums:
- Damson Plum. This type of European plum has dark skin and a tart flavor. It contains a high amount of sugar but tastes slightly bitter and acidic.
- Elephant Heart Plum. This variety comes from the group of Japanese plums. It is large and has a heart shape. Its skin color may range from dark red to purple, and it is very juicy that people say eating it feels like drinking juice.
- Moyer Plum. The Moyer plum is one of the best varieties of the European plum. It has an elongated shape and pleasant flavor. When dried to become prunes, the Moyer plum can be a great addition to dry dishes.
- Greengage Plum. This variety has a skin color that ranges from pale yellow-green to bright lime. However, the Greengage plum tastes sweet despite its misleading color.
- French Prune. The French prune is the best choice for making prunes or dried plums. Its variety Improved French is popular in the U.S. for its sweet taste.
- Friar Plum. This variety also hails from Japanese plums and has dark violet to bright black color. It is sweet, juicy, and firm, which makes it perfect for eating fresh.
- Mirabelle Plum. Also known as the cherry plum, the Mirabelle plum is tiny but sweet. This variety is used in making jams, jellies, fruit brandy, and baked goods.
- Myrobalan Plum. This variety is also often called cherry plum because of its appearance. Its taste ranges from sweet to tart and is used in making jellies and in baking.
- Black Beauty Plum. The Black Beauty plum is another variety of Japanese plum. It has yellow flesh and purple skin. Because of its juiciness, the Black Beauty plum is best consumed while still fresh.
- Plumcot. The plumcot is a cross between plum and apricot, but with more qualities inherited from the plum. It is the perfect choice for making mint salsa.
Plums are known for their delicious taste and great nutritional value. Hence, people use them for preparing various drinks and dishes, some of which are listed below.
- Salad. Juicy plums may be mixed with spinach and basil to prepare a salad. Pour a mix of lemon juice and lime zest and flakes of sea salt to make it crunchy.
- Cake. Plums can be caramelized to create a perfect top for moist and buttery cakes.
- Jam. Homemade plum jam is a convenient condiment for summer picnics.
- Sauce. Underriped plums are more tangy than sweet, making them great for creating a plum sauce. This can be used as baste for grilled dishes.
Aside from the listed uses above, plums can also be used for other purposes such as preparing cocktails and tarts.
Plums are delicious and nutrient-packed stone fruits. They are grown in many temperate regions around the world and come in many varieties. They are an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals.