Mirabelle de Metz Plums
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Mirabelle de Metz plums are unique and easily recognizable, by their petite size and yellow outer skin. Smaller than a golf ball, the Mirabelle de measure about 1 inch in diameter and is about the size of a cherry tomato. Also known as the Mirabelle prune, the inner flesh is a lighter yellow and offers a very sweet full bodied flavor.
Mirabelle de Metz plums are available in the mid-summer months.
Import laws in Lorraine, France are currently responsible for the ban on these plums to be sold or transported outside of the area. Similar to authentic champagne only hailing from Champagne, France. Along with that same idea, plums of similar taste, color and size have been grown and sold outside of the region of Lorraine. To harvest Mirabelle plums, the fruit tree is shaken until the ripe fruits fall off into a net under the tree. This can be done mechanically with technology/robots. For two weeks in the month of August, the city of Metz celebrates and holds a Mirabelle Festival. They sell and enjoy fresh prunes, tarts and liquor made from Mirabelle plums. There is even a crowning of the Mirabelle Queen.
In general, plums and prunes (dried plums) are a very good source of Vitamin C. Mirabelles specifically being such a sweet fruit have higher amounts of fructose sugar and calcium.
On the smaller range of the stonefruits, the Mirabelle de Metz can be eaten fresh, however are often baked in tarts, sipped as a plum liquor or enjoyed as sweet jams and preserves due to the soft, easily bruised skin. Is also used in perfumes and cosmetics. The Mirabelle eau-de-vie (45% alcohol content) can be used many ways, even in car-washing detergent – since it is impossible to freeze.
The Mirabelle de Metz plum hails from the same area in France that is most well known for the Quiche Lorraine.
Mirabelles have been cultivated in France since the 1500s.