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Plum Facts

Prune plums refers to the European plum varieties with sufficient bulk for use in baking and as dried fruit. Many people use the term "Italian plum" as equivalent to "prune plums” but there are many purple blue European type plum varieties well suited to cooking and drying. Dried plums contain pectin, sorbitol, and malate which serve as a fat substitute in baking.  
Plums suitable for drying have high sugar content that inhibits fermentation that would spoil the final product.  "Dried plum" is the term preferred nowadays over "prune" by food marketers.

Prune plums ripen at the end of summer and the beginning of fall, Prune plums are taken as a sign to many that the season is transitioning from summer to fall.
Prune plums are generally freestone, high sweetness, and have noticeable acidity when used while still firm.  California is the top producing state for dried plums, based primarily on an offshoot of the variety French Prune, known in France as d'Agen.

Plums have a rich heritage in many cultures.   Pflaumenkuchen (Pflaumen=plums, kuchen=cake), or shortened form Plumkuchen is a longtime traditional dessert in German-Jewish families.  Plum dessert is a traditional part of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah. Tzimmes is a traditional Jewish sweet stew with vegetables and dried plums. Prunes are a frequent ingredient in North African and Norwegian cuisine.  Plum filling is popular in Danish pastries in the U.S. and elsewhere.  
The terms “Christmas pudding” and “plum pudding” were often considered to be the same in Victorian times, although Christmas puddings were often made with raisins or dried currants, and not plums. A true plum pudding contains plums.  
Sugar plums also generally contained raisins or currents and not plums, and of various colors, but were shaped to look like a plum with a wire to serve as the stem for hanging on a Christmas tree. 

Michigan Plum Growers Association

© 2012 - Forever, Michigan Plum Growers Advisory Group. All Rights Reserved.

Michigan Plum Growers Advisory Group
12800 Escanaba Drive Suite A
Dewitt, MI 48820-8680

Phone : 517.669.4250
Fax: 517.669.4251

Michigan Plums. All rights reserved.

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