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Italian Prune Plums
Inventory, 30 lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 07/18/17
The Italian Prune plum is large oblong-shaped variety, often exhibiting a powdery white bloom on its otherwise purplish-blue skin. The thin snappy skin encases a firm yet juicy flesh that holds a central pit that is easily removed. When raw, the pulp is a greenish amber color, but turns a deep shade of fuchsia when cooked. The dense texture of the Italian Prune plum is full of rich, complex and appropriately confectionary sweet flavors that deepen as the fruit ripens.
Prune plums are available in late summer into early fall.
Italian Prune Plums, also sometimes known as Empress plums, are a European variety botanically classified as Prunus domestica. They are freestone plum that, as the name suggests, are most readily grown for prune production. Their ability to create a high concentration of fermentable sugars not only makes them the ideal candidate for drying, but also for making preserves, wine and brandy.
Italian Prune 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. Their deeply pigmented skins are a good source of antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Although Italian Prune plums are most often designated for drying to prune state, they are also well suited for fresh eating, cooking, baking and preserving. The fresh fruits may be used similarly to other plum varieties in baked goods such as cakes and tarts or simply arranged on a salad or cheese plate. When dried, their natural concentration of sugars make them a good substitute for sugar in baking recipes as well as shakes and smoothies. Add the diced prunes to stuffing for poultry and pork or combine with thyme, shallots and bacon in a savory bread pudding. Soak the prunes in brandy or Cointreau and puree for a sauce over ice cream or cheesecake. Complimentary sweet flavors include vanilla, nutmeg, tropical fruits, chocolate, butter and cream. Savory pairings include mild fresh cheeses such as chevre and ricotta, woodsy herbs, citrus, chiles, fennel, bacon, lamb, poultry and wild game. To store fresh Italian Prune plums, refrigerate ripe fruit for up to one week. To store prunes, keep in an airtight container in cool, dry storage.
The annual California Prune Festival in Yuba City, California celebrates all sorts of dried plums, including the Italian Prune, with music, food and a parade.
Dried plums have ancient heritage, with origins in Western Asia in an area near the Caucasus Mountains bordering the Caspian Sea. The Italian Prune plum, specifically, is native to the Mediterranean coastal regions of Italy. They thrive in arid climates where winter time temperatures are cool but not cold and the summer season is long, warm and dry. Though plums adapt to a wide variety of growing regions, growing seasons require minimal humidity and rainfall to prevent disease and encourage fruit development.
Recipes that include Italian Prune Plums. One is easiest, three is harder.
|La Tartine Gourmande||Tarte aux Quetsches|
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