Plums were one of the first fruits to be domesticated by humans. Nowadays, some of the most commonly cultivated varieties are no longer found in the wild, but only around (former) human settlements.
The Ancient Turks, Huns, Tatars and the Mongolians considered dried plums as a very important part of their diet.
Dried plums are most often eaten as a snack. Plums can be left to soak in water overnight. Both the plums and the water can then be consumed.
Dried plums can be used for making compotes or can also be added to meat dishes. Plums go well with lamb, veal and pork dishes.
For a quick appetizer, fill the plums with a bit of soft cheese, wrap them in bacon and grill them.
In North African cuisine, plums are a popular ingredient for preparing dishes in “tajine” (the so-called earthenware pot, in which meat, vegetables and other ingredients are placed and slowly cooked on the fire).
They are also perfect for making desserts, and can be added to millet gruel or other cereals, used for preparing creamy smoothies or in a filling for phyllo dough pastries.
The largest growers of plums are China, India and Serbia.
Botanically, plums belong to the same family as pears and cherries. Plum trees are usually trimmed to a maximum height of 6 metres, since without pruning they can attain a height of 12 metres.
Plums are cultivated on every continent of the World, except Antarctica.
In China, plums are a symbol of a happy life.
The American inventor, called Reuben Tice, built a steam pressure machine to de-wrinkle dried plums to improve their appearance, but died in an explosion resulting from testing the machine.