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Food and Wine Dictionary


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 plum 

There are hundreds of plum varieties cultivated throughout the world. All grow in clusters, have smooth, deeply colored skin and a center pit. Plums can range in shape from oval to round and in size from 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Their color can be yellow, green, red, purple, indigo blue and almost anything in between. The pale silvery-gray, filmy-looking coating on a plum's skin is natural and doesn't affect quality. Fresh plums are available from May to late October. Choose firm plums that give slightly to palm pressure. Avoid those with skin blemishes such as cracks, soft spots or brown discolorations, the latter indicating sunburn. Very firm plums may be stored at room temperature until slightly soft. Refrigerate ripe plums in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. Some plums are grown specifically to be dried as PRUNES. The majority, however, are enjoyed fresh for out-of-hand eating or for use in a wide variety of sweet and savory preparations. Also available are canned plums, packed in either water or sugar syrup. Plums contain a fair amount of vitamin A and potassium.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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