Plum Crazy - Ten Ideas for Enjoying Summer Plums!
One of the wonderful things about plums, besides the lovely flavor, is the many varieties available. There are varieties from Ruby and Santa Rosa to Black Beauty and Satsuma; from yellow-fleshed to those with deep red flesh, and everything in between! And shapes can vary from oval or round, to heart-shape and oblong.
California produces over 90 percent of all plums grown in the United States. According to the University of California Davis, approximately 250 varieties of plums grow here. These varieties are divided into two main categories: Japanese and European. The season for plums begins with summer and can last all the way through to October.
Prunes are plums that have been dried. The name "prune" is not used much anymore because of its historical negative references, so the industry has switched to "dried plums" instead! Either way, they are filled with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are super sweet and delicious!
Ever seen the dusty white haze on plums or other fruit (see photo above)? This is called the "wax bloom" and is easily wiped off, if desired. It's just a naturally occuring residue and is not harmful.
What should you do with all these wonderful varieties of plums? Here are a few ideas:
- Pizza: Make a pizza with sliced plums, soft goat cheese, walnuts, and a bit of sage.
- Jam: Make plum jam or preserves and enjoy plums all year long!
- Salad: Toss sliced plums with arugula, feta, and chicken breast.
- Grill: Cut in half, remove the seed and grill for a few minutes.
- Dessert: Make a plum upside-down cake, plum tart, or plum sherbet.
- Appetizer: Slice plums and add to toasted baguette slices and topped with goat cheese.
- Sauce: Plum sauce is a favorite for topping lamb or pork. Slice, cook down, add a bit of honey, and serve.
- Kabobs: Cut large plums in quarters and skewer with chunks of chicken and onions.
- Breakfast: Add to pancakes, cereals, or yogurt.
- Leather: Make a healthy snack for the kids with plum fruit leather.
Whichever way to slice 'em, you're crazy not to enjoy a plethora of plums this summer. Enjoy!