A plum is a type of ‘Drupe Fruit’, which means they have a leathery skin, surrounding soft flesh which is attached to a hard stone (pit).
Therefore, it falls into the same category as peach, apricot, cherries and nectarines.
Depending on who you talk to, some may claim there are thousands of plum species.
I personally find that hard to believe – I’ve seen many different types in my cooking career, and I reckon there are probably only several dozen varieties.
They all have smooth skin, unlike the furry skin found on a peach and are available in a myriad of colours, such as yellow, red, green, purple and multicoloured skin.
I’ve cut into some that have a loose detached stone and others with a firmly attached stone.
Some plums have yellow, orange or red flesh, while some taste tart and others taste sweetly perfumed.
Most are round and a few are egg shaped.
They can be eaten fresh, cooked into savoury dishes or preserved in jams.
Expect to see plums to land on grocery store shelves in late February and availability to go plum crazy as we near autumn.
If you ever see a white dusty bloom on the skin of a plum, don’t be concerned, this is a natural wax they produce in maturity to protect themselves from the elements.
And… do you want to know something really crazy? Prunes are dried plums.