From tart to tropical, you’re bound to find a plum variety that will pique your taste buds.
June 30, 2011
1 of 11Photo: Anna Williams
America’s romance with heirloom produce means more plum varieties each year. Flavorful light-skinned plums—like Greengage—had been mostly replaced by larger, darker fruits, which hide bruises. And because they're often harvested before ripe, they sometimes lack flavor. Happily, more interesting varieties are making a comeback.
2 of 11Photo: Anna Williams
A popular American commercial variety with black skin and light-yellow flesh. If you can find tree-ripened ones, they will be sweet and tasty.
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One of the more tart varieties, these purple-skinned plums are popular in cooked applications, such as jam or stewed fruit.
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With mottled brownish-gold skin, this ruby red–fleshed fruit is so juicy when ripe that it’s almost drinkable. The flavor is tropical with a hint of vanilla.
5 of 11Photo: Anna Williams
Compact purple European-style plums—about the size of a large walnut—that are deliciously sweet when soft, deliciously tart when firm. Also often called sugar plums.
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Another popular variety in American supermarkets. Inky black skin and light flesh; taste best when picked fully ripe.
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This superior European variety is rare. The fruit is small with greenish-yellow speckled skin and fantastic honey-sweet flesh.
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Small yellow-crimson blushed plums used to make French plum eau-de-vie. Intensely sweet, these plums are good raw or cooked.
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Myrobalan (Cherry Plums)
Sweet plums the size of cherry tomatoes. Their skin can be red, -yellow, or purple.
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Another deliciously sweet-tart plum that can be hard to find. Crimson skin with blondish-amber flesh.
11 of 11Photo: Anna Williams
Not to be confused with the mandarin orange of the same name, these are meaty-fleshed, sweet plums with deep red flesh. Often called blood plum.