Fruit of the Week: Plum

– Plums are a drupe fruit and belong to the same genus (Prunus) as nectarines, peaches, almonds, apricots and cherries
– Plums can vary in colour depending on the cultivar and their peels can be red, light purple, dark blue-purple, black, green or even orange
– The colour of the pulp can vary between a yellow, crimson, light blue-purple, or light green.
– Plums are approximately 5-7 cm in diameter, have a smooth peel and contain a hard pit in their centre
– As far as taste, plums can vary between sweet and tart depending on ripeness and cultivar
– Ideal use of a plum can also vary between cultivars, with some plums being better suited for eating raw, baking or making jam
– Popular cultivars for eating raw include Bluefre, California Blue, Valor, Veeblue, Verity, Victory and Voyageur
– Plum trees grown for commercial purposes are typically maintained at 5-6 metres tall
– Without pruning, plum trees may grow as tall as 12 metres
– Evidence of humans’ plum consumption dates back to the Neolithic age
– Prunus domestica, one of the most common commercial plum species, originated in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus mountains
– Prunus simonii and salicina originated in Asia
– Prunus cocomilia, sometimes called Italian prune plums, originated in southeastern Europe and Asia Minor
– Wild plums grew and were eaten in North America prior to colonisation, but today’s commercially grown plums are primarily from European and Japanese strains
– China, Serbia and Romania are the top three plum producers in the world

Spicy Oven-Roasted Plums

Spicy Oven-Roasted Plums
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
– 4 plums, halved, pitted
– 1/2 cup orange juice
– 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/8 teaspoon cumin
– 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Place the plums, cut-side up, in a single layer in the baking dish.

3. Whisk together the orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and cardamom in a bowl; drizzle over the plums.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until plums are hot and the sauce is bubbly.

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