Plums belong to the Prunus genus of plants and are relatives of the peach, nectarine and almond. They are all considered “drupes,” fruits that have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds. When plums are dried, they are known as prunes. The European plum is thought to have been discovered around two thousand years ago, originating in the area near the Caspian Sea. Even in ancient Roman times, there were already over 300 varieties of European plums. European plums made their way across the Atlantic Ocean with the pilgrims, who introduced them into the United States in the 17th century. While Japanese plums actually originated in China, they derived their name from the country where much of their cultivation and development occurred. Japanese plums were introduced to the U.S. in the late 19th century. Today, the United States, Russia, China and Romania are among the main producers of commercially grown plums.
Storing & Cooking Information
Plums can be washed and eaten as is. If you want to first remove the pit before eating or cooking, cut the plum in half lengthwise, gently twist the halves in opposite directions and then carefully take out the pit.
Avoid placing plums in the refrigerator until they have ripened completely. Storing them in the refrigerator will keep the plums from ripening fully.