Plums grow in clusters and have a smooth, deeply colored skin and a center pit. Their color can be yellow, green, red, purple, or deep blue. The pale gray film-like coating on the skin is natural, and does not affect quality. Early-season plums tend to have more tart skins making them better for jams, while late-season plums are more sweet. Plums can be divided into two general categories: Japanese and European. Japanese plums are larger and have a juicier, softer flesh. European plums can be eaten fresh, but are typically used for drying and cooking. During the Middle Ages, the word "plum" meant any dried fruit, which is why "plum pudding" is not made with plums, but rather dried fruit.
Season: June - October
How to select: Ripe plums will yield slightly to the touch.
How to store: To encourage ripening, place plums in a brown paper bag.
How to prepare: poach, raw, stew
Matches well with: apricots, bananas, brandy, brown sugar, caramel, cherries, cinnamon, custard, fruits, ginger, grapefruits, honey, lemon, nectarines, nuts, oranges, peaches, red wine, rhubarb, vanilla, walnuts