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Buying Tips

Choose plums that are tender to the touch and that have smooth, uniform skin. Look for those that retain the “bloom,” a natural powder-like haze covering the fruit, since these are likely to have received the least handling.


Among the leading plum varieties are the European plum, which is medium-sized and dark blue to red, with a thick skin and dull yellow flesh. This variety is often dried into prunes. The Japanese plum can be purple, scarlet, or yellowish-green and is sweet and juicy. Damson and Mirabelle plums make delicious jam but are quite tart. Over 35 percent of the California plum harvest is of the Santa Rosa variety. Casselman, Elephant Heart, El Dorado, Greengage, and Laroda are other popular varieties.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.