Howard's Miracle Plums
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Howard's Miracle is a free-stone variety and one of the largest cultivars of plum. It is almost completely spherical with a single deep suture that runs the from stem to base. Its golden skin is blushed with tones of red and pink and the translucent interior ranges from light shades of amber to pure white. It has a very juicy consistency, with a pure sweetness that lacks tartness near the pit. Howard’s Miracle plum has a diverse flavor profile with notes of pineapple, grapefruit, nectarine and a refreshing tang to balance lingering honey-like sugar levels.
Howard’s Miracle plums are available in the summer.
Howard's Miracle, sometimes called Howard's Wonder, is a Japanese plum variety of the species, Prunus salicina. It is a cross between a green Asian plum and a Japanese Satsuma plum. Japanese plums are larger, rounder and firmer than European plums and are the most commonly grown variety for fresh eating in the United States.
Howard’s Miracle plums are a good source of potassium, calcium, phosphate, vitamin C and B complex vitamins which have a great importance to the process of metabolism and nervous system health.
Howard’s Miracle plums are most often eaten raw, but may be used in cooked applications as well. Their striking exterior skin should be kept intact when serving, adding a burst of color and unique floral taste to salads and fruit platters. Their flesh easily separates from the central pit, but browns quickly once sliced. Thinly slice the plums and use in tarts and upside-down cakes. A few weeks after harvest their texture softens making them perfect for cooking down into sauces and preserves. Complimentary flavors include, berries, oranges, pears, nectarines, spicy greens such as arugula and watercress, anise hyssop, sage, vanilla, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, yogurt, prosciutto and port wine.
While the name may suggest that Howard’s Miracle plum is marvel of the stone fruit world, its origin is actually a case of mistaken identity. Developed by Frederick H. Howard, the hybrid fruit was claimed to be a cross of a greengage and a Satsuma plum and described as being "unlike that of any known plum". Howard concluded that his namesake plum was worthy of miracle status. However, its parentage is genetically improbable, since the Satsuma is an Asian plum and the greengage is a European plum, such a hybridization is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, its name stuck and myth became legend.
The Howard’s Miracle plum was first discovered in 1941 in Montebello, CA by Frederick Howard. It was later patented in 1946 and formally introduced to the market the following year. The trees are not prolific bearers and are exceptionally rare. They thrive in Southern California because of their minimal chill requirement. Howard’s Miracle plums are not usually shipped commercially because of their delicate quality, but they have become a favorite among stone fruit growing enthusiasts and most often sold at farmers’ markets.
Someone spotted Howard's Miracle Plums using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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