Plums & Prunes
At Kirby's we grow several types of plums. Three earlier varieties include a small burgundy, a small yellow and red, and a tart greenish-yellow plum. An oblong, dark purple variety commonly known as a prune shows up mid-season (mid-August). Plums are the snack for anyone that enjoys a tart kick to their fruits!
Store ripe plums in the refrigerator. Unripe plums can be stored in a paper bag at room temperature for several days, or until ripe.
Long Term Storage:
Plums can be sliced and frozen or sliced and frozen in syrup. Prepared recipes, such as roasted plums, also freeze well. Plum jam, or dried plums are another excellent way to preserve them.
Plums can be stewed, roasted, or poached. They are often used in sauces and glazes. Plums are excellent when made into jams, jellies, or chutneys. Try your favorite cake, muffin or quick bread recipe with a cup of chopped plums tossed in.
Roasted Plums with Greek Yogurt, from epicurious.com
In the United States nearly all of the commercially grown plums are hybrids of the Japanese plum introduced by Berkeley, CA, nurseryman John Kelsey in the 1870s and subsequently hybridized by Luther Burbank in the late 1800s. The plum is a descendant of species native to Asia and is a member of a large genus of plants, Prunus, which also includes cherries, almonds and apricots. Early settlers brought the European plum, Prunus domestica, to the United States, and today California’s dried prune industry is based on varieties of this plum. Some European varieties are grown for fresh shipment, but their importance is diminishing. The term plum refers to varieties belonging mainly to the Japanese plum group, Prunus salicina, used for fresh consumption and not for drying. The Japanese plum is native to China but was domesticated in Japan 400 years ago.
Nutrition: Plums are low in fat and saturated fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and high in vitamin C. Prunes (dried plums) are also a good source of both vitamin A and fiber.