What Do Plums Taste Like

What Do Plums Taste Like?

Plums are a very seasonal ingredient. However, when that time of year arrives, they are in abundance! Unfortunately, many people have a strong misperception about these fruits and how they taste. In all honesty, finding a nice plum can be difficult. Again, due of the seasonality, most growers sell everything they have, good or bad! As a result, many people have gotten sour or flavorless fruit instead of the beautifully juicy plum they should have enjoyed.

But how does an excellent plum taste? If you can get a ripe fresh plum, it will be exceptionally juicy and tender, with super-sweet, fruity, and slightly flowery flavors. Plums have an incredible flavor, but only when they are perfectly ripe. So, today, we’ll walk you through the process of selecting the perfect plum for your specific needs! We’ll talk about not simply when to select plums, but also how different types affect this. Finally, we’ve included some fun flavor combinations that you may use to create your own sweet plum concoctions!

What Are Plums?

A particular kind of stone fruit that is a member of the Prunus genus is called a plum. It is actually one of the very earliest fruit varieties that humans domesticated! There are documents on how to plant plum trees that date back to the early 12th century, yet no one is certain how long these fruits have been grown. What do plums actually look like now? There are a few different species, and they are all quite dissimilar in appearance.

The most popular plums are Japanese or Chinese plums, which have a spherical form and a deep reddish-purple color. The other popular variants are all of European origin. Although both Damson and Prune plums are blue-purple in hue, Damsons are longer than Prune plums.

Victorian plums are equally widespread and resemble prune plums in appearance. Their reddish-pink tint with yellowish-orange undertones is what distinguishes them, though. The color of mirabelle plums is entirely golden. Cherry-red myrobalan (also known as cherry) plums are vibrant. Finally, Greengage plums are green in color, as their name suggests.

The species and age of the plums determine the exact size. The majority of them are medium-sized fruits, ranging in diameter from 0.79 to 2.76 inches (2-7 cm). Though most of them are rounder, some of them are oval in shape (like Damsons).

All plum skins are exceedingly smooth, flawless, and have a naturally waxy surface. The meat is always extremely firm but incredibly juicy, or at least it should be. A fresh, fully ripe plum will cause juices to drip down your chin when you bite into it. Doesn’t that sound heavenly (and messy)?

Plums are drupes, sometimes known as stone fruits, and as such, have a hard stone in the middle. Since this stone (or pit) cannot be consumed, it is frequently dried and used in gardening.

What Do Plums Taste Like?

Plums are extremely similar to citrus fruits. There are quite a few diverse flavor profiles you may anticipate to encounter between the different species. If you take a pear, for example, most of them have extremely similar attributes in both flavor and texture. But plums are diverse! Most plums have a naturally sweet and extremely delicious flavor. Many people describe them as having comparable in flavor to an apricot.

However, the sweeter plums are usually those that are darker in color (black, blue, or dark red) (black, blue, or dark red). Red plums are generally sourer and have quite tart flavors too. These still have fruity and floral aspects, but are mostly sweet and sour.

How Sweet Are Plums?

The amount of variety you have is what determines this. Some of the plums we’ve tried in the past are as sweet as pineapple! Others, however, are overwhelmingly sour and have little sweetness. If you have a darkly colored, ripe plum, it will be as sweet as an apricot or a grape. Otherwise, it won’t be as sweet. The sweetness of a plum increases with ripeness. However, after a certain period of time, that ripeness transforms into deterioration, which in turn reduces the sweetness once more.

Ideal Qualities Of Fresh Plums

Now, choosing a good-quality, fresh plum is critical because it directly affects the flavor. If you buy and use unripe plums, the flavor will be less sweet than it should be. Over-ripe plums will have a bland, albeit slightly sweet, flavor, and their overly soft flesh will be difficult to work with! So, what characteristics distinguish a ripe, fresh plum?


Always start with the appearance. Naturally, the plum’s colors will differ depending on the variety you purchase. However, they should all have a single bright color. Some plums have shaded colors (a mottled combination of red, purple, and pink), but the shading should be present throughout the entire plum, not just in one area. There shouldn’t be any stains, bruising, discoloration, or rotten parts either. The plum’s skin should be wrinkle-free and completely smooth. Skin that is wrinkled or shriveled is a sign of aging or drying. Pick plums with a little bit of stem still on them if at all possible. Even though it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they didn’t have this, it would help them stay more rested.


Choosing a ripe plum is always the best option. The only exception is if the recipe calls for unripe bananas or if you’re ripening them at home. A ripe plum is not soft; it should be plump and firm in texture. The flesh should give slightly if you gently press it with your fingers. However, it should not be soft or mushy! That means the plum is overripe. Ripe plums are typically quite heavy for their size. This is because they are dense fruits. If they feel light, they’re probably not as juicy as you’d like them to be.

How To Use Plums

Plums are incredibly adaptable fruits. They have been around and such a well-liked ingredient for so long, it makes sense! There are numerous ways to include plums in recipes if you aren’t going to eat them straight up. And that holds true for plums that are perfectly ripe, overripe, and even underripe! Just a word of advice: always choose a plum that will complement the flavor profile when using it in a recipe.

A sour plum, for instance, won’t be nearly as good in plum cake. Furthermore, if you’re making a plum pie filling, particularly juicy plums may cause the crust to become soggy. Before selecting the ideal plum for your recipe, think about what you are making:

One of the best ways to use your harvest is to make plum jam, which is one of the best recipes for any kind of plum.
Plum tarts are a fantastic alternative. You can experiment with the flavor and the fruit’s cutting; you can also make an upside-down plum tart or a crumble with plums.
Another well-liked condiment and garnish is plum chutney. It can be prepared for a sweet flavor profile for desserts or a more savory one.
Pork, beef, or lamb pair well with roasted plums. They are fantastic additions to ice cream as well. They can even be used as a cake or bread topping!
You can use these stone fruits to make delicious salads by combining them with the flavors listed below.
Additionally, you can use plums to make smoothies and iced tea!
Finally, one of the earliest desserts made with this fruit is baked plum pudding.

Best Flavors To Pair Plums With

Plums are an extremely versatile fruit that complements thousands of other flavors. So, now that you know what plums taste like, let’s look at how to best pair those flavors with other ingredients! To make it easier to navigate, we’ve divided it into different categories. Let’s get started!

Other Fruits

Other stone fruits naturally go well with plums. Though plums and apricots are very similar to each other and go well together, peaches and nectarines are arguably the best combinations. The fact that plums go well with raspberries and blueberries surprises a lot of people! Another common natural pairing for baked or roasted recipes is cherries. Last but not least, you can also combine plums with pears, lemons, and limes!


Plums complement sweet dairy foods quite well. This comprises mascarpone, cream, and milk. Even crème fraîche complements plums! Naturally, this means it will complement other goods that primarily utilise them. Ice cream, butter, vanilla yogurt, and custard are just a few examples.


Almonds and walnuts in particular pair well with plums when it comes to nuts. You can experiment with various nuts, such as pecans, although depending on the variety of plum you have, they sometimes have contradictory flavors.


Plums pair well with sweet seasonings. Almost any type of sugar, especially brown sugar, will work. They do, however, complement sweet spices and herbs. Some examples include cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, cardamom, star anise, and mint.

Other Pairings

Plums complement a number of conventionally flavorful items as well. Several widely used condiments are frequently used in savory plum recipes, including hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar (like salads). Plums go well with brandy and red wines, especially the heavier ones. Additionally, you can use them in recipes that call for chicken, pork, beef, or any cut of beef (particularly steak).

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