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Yellow Damson Plums
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This item was last sold on : 07/23/17
Yellow Damsons are a small wild plum variety approximately the size of a large cherry. They have a somewhat thick, chewy skin that can range from pale greenish-yellow to a rich golden color. The translucent yellow pulp surrounds a single oblong pit that clings tightly to the flesh. While the Yellow Damson plum is usually cooked and seldom regarded for fresh eating, it is considerably sweeter and less tannic than the Blue Damson.
Yellow Damson plums are available in the late summer and fall.
The Damson plum is an ancient variety of Prunus insititia, a species of wild plum that is a late ripening ancestor of the larger and sweeter European and Japanese plums. The name Damson is derived from the Syrian city of Damascus, where it is believed to have originated. The yellow variety is far less common than the blue variety which is a favorite for jams and preserves.
Yellow Damson plums are a good source of vitamins C and K, copper, iron and potassium.
The Yellow Damson plum is rarely consumed in its raw state and most often regarded as a cooking variety. They may be used in tarts, cakes and other baked goods, but can be tedious to prepare as they are a clingstone variety and have a low flesh to seed ratio. Most Damson recipes are for the blue variety, but the Yellow Damson may be substituted. Keeping in mind that alterations may need to be made as they are sweeter and will not require the same amount of sugar. Some recipes suggest that bay leaf is the perfect pairing to Blue Damson plum jam, perhaps try experimenting with other savory herbs such as thyme, sage or marjoram to pair with the yellow variety.
The Damson plum is inextricably linked to English culture, and up until World War II remained one of the country’s favorite fruit preserves. They have since lost much of their popularity and are no longer a widely grown commercial crop. Today, however, certain niche British grocery stores have begun to embrace the Damson plum once again, featuring the fruit as a national treasure in the Slow Food’s Forgotten Foods Program, an effort that protects historical local British foods.
The Damson plum is native to the Middle East, specifically modern day Syria where it was originally referred to as “damas cene”, a derivation of the city of Damascus. With the spread of the Roman empire, trade routes eventually connected much of the ancient world, spanning from the Mediterranean in the south to the most northern reaches of Europe. Historical records show evidence of the Damson plum in Britain dating back to early Roman and Norman territories as well as in castles of the late Iron Age. Today it remains widely grown throughout the United Kingdom and in a few select orchards in Southern California.