Plum vs Prune
A means of preserving the excessive harvest of a variety of crops, drying is a technique that has been used from time immemorial to prevent the wastage of food. Fruits are an easily perishable food type for which the drying method is used more popularly since taking out the moisture out of food tends to ensure a longer shelf life for these items. However, distinguishing certain dried fruits from its fresh counterpart had become something of an issue for the consumer market when it comes to certain products. The constant confusion between prunes and plums is one good example to showcase this matter.
What is a prune?
A prune can refer to any variety of plum cultivars, usually Prunus domestica also referred to as the European Plum, mostly sold as a dried fruit. It is known that over 1000 cultivars of plum are grown for drying and some of the most popular varieties are the improved French prune, Tulare Giant, Sutter, Imperial, Moyer, Greengage and Italian prune. Prunes are consumed cooked in both sweet and savoury dishes or are eaten by themselves. A popular ingredient in North African tagines, stewed prunes known as compote is also a popular dessert. Prunes are also used frequently in dishes such as Tzimmes, a traditional Jewish dish, Nordic prune kisel, typically had with rice pudding, traditional Norwegian dessert fruit soup or in holiday dishes as stuffing or as cake. While prune Danish pastries are popular in the U.S East Coast, prune juice is also a popular beverage all over the world. Also, due to its high sugar content, they are fermented to form a cider-like drink called jerkum in the Cotswolds.
Containing mild laxatives including phenolic compounds, prunes are known for their high content of dietary fibre and hence are used as home remedies for constipation. Prunes are also high in antioxidants and are also popular as a healthy snack.
What is a plum?
A plum is a drupe fruit that grows on the plant belonging to the subgenus Prunus of the genus Prunus. The mature plum fruit has a dusty white coating which is an epicuticular wax coating known as “wax bloom”. Relatives of the nectarine, peach, and almond, the plum fruit features a hard stone pit surrounding its seeds. The plum trees blossom in different months, in different parts of the year. In Taiwan, plum trees blossom in January whereas in the United States, they blossom in April.
Between 19 to 40 species of plum exist out of which only the European plum and the Japanese plum are of worldwide commercial significance. The taste of these fruits can range from sweet to tart and can be eaten as itself or be used in jams and other recipes. Plum juice is also fermented and is made into plum wine. Produced all over the world, the biggest producer of plums in the world as of the moment is china.
Plum is high in calories and a good source of dietary fibre; however, much of its calories comes from sugars. Plum also has high content of Vitamin A, C, and K.
What is the difference between Plum and Prune?
The difference between a prune and a plum while rather evident may be a little confusing for many to discern. Following are a few reasons why the two ingredients differ from one another.
• A plum is a drupe fruit that belongs to the subgenus Prunus. A prune can refer to any variety of plum cultivars.
• In general use, a plum is the fresh fruit. A prune is the dried plum. However, not all plum varieties can be dried to make prunes.
• Prune may also be a different fruit separate from the plum. For example, Italian prunes are grown as prunes and dried for packaging.