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Plums

The properties of plums.

Plums are a valued and enjoyed fruit with a characteristic sweet flavour that is mildly reviving and pleasing to the mouth. They were imported into Europe by the Romans in the 2nd century BC, as they were originally widespread only in the Caucasus area. The plum tree has a characteristic umbrella shape and is rather thin and knotted. Though early and late cultivars are available, fruiting usually occurs in the summer.

The fruit is nutritious in addition to being delicious. Being one of the highest-fibre foods ever, it is frequently recognised as a natural cure for constipation. It is also rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and group B vitamins. Plums contain many antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which benefit the body in many ways and even help prevent cancer. Despite being very sugary, plums provide only 42 kcal per 100 grammes.

A brief overview of plum varieties

Plums are among the most cultivated fruits in the world, so it is not surprising that there are so many varieties. Below, I list the most famous ones.

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  • Agostana. An entirely Italian variety, it is characterised by small and reddish fruits. The pulp is pleasantly sweet, making it ideal for liqueurs and jams.
  • Milan White. The peel is green, the pulp is yellow, and the taste is rather sugary.
  • Florentia. This variety is characterised by a very sweet and juicy pulp.
  • Rusticana. The fruits are small and have both red and yellow hues. The flavour is strong and tends towards acid.
  • Sugar. It is the sweetest variety of all and ideal for drying.
  • Verdacchia. It is a very ancient Italian variety. The shape is ovoid, the pulp is yellow-green, and the taste tends towards acid (however, it retains distinctly sweet notes).

How do we use them in the kitchen?

Not only are plums a highly regarded fruit, but they are also highly adaptable. Although it can be used as an ingredient (primary or otherwise) in numerous recipes for confections, raw ingestion is still the most common. They can be made into a vibrant and flavorful jam, which can be used to stuff tarts. They nicely complement some spices, like cinnamon.

Sliced or chopped, plums can be used as a cake filling instead of cream. They can also be used to make smoothies, liqueurs, drinks, and a lot more. Put simply, you have an abundance of options!