Sometimes I find out about a new variety of fruit that I just have to try, but it take years for me to get my hands on it. It took me a year to first find Cotton Candy grapes and SweeTango apples. Not nearly as look as it took for me to find Bubble Gum plums. I first learned about this plum from the Paul Friday's Flamin Fury Peach website. My first attempt to get the fruit came last year. I found a vendor at farmer's market who grew the plum. They were going to set some aside for me. I headed to the farmer's market racing a thunderstorm to try and get their first. The storm won, the vendors fled, and another year went by before I would have a chance again. Finally a few days ago I got the weekly e-mail from Produce Station, a local speciality grocery that focuses on local produce. This e-mail showed a picture of my sought after Bubble Gum plums. At the next available opportunity and made my way there and finally had my hands on these plums with the fun name.
Do These Really Taste Like Bubble Gum?
Absolutely. One bite into a perfectly ripe specimen and I totally get the bubble gum taste. It's extraordinary. I was concerned that maybe it was be too sweet however the skin is tart providing some balance to the sweetness found within in. I also like the size. They are small unlike the much larger and much less flavorful plums you find the grocery stores. Perfect size for sharing. I share I did. Others were amazed at the flavor as well and very appreciative that I shared with them.
Also Called Toka Plum
The original name of this plum is the Toka plum. It has been around since 1911 (see article on Fresh Plaza). It's been around for over a century. But wasn't a big seller. People are conditioned to like large fruit by the supermarkets and these plums are so small in comparison. Things changed for this variety when Paul Friday began getting customer feedback that these plums taste like bubble gum. He decided to register Bubblegum Plums as the trademark for this plums. The name appeal alone has hugely increased sales.
Grow Your Own Bubble Gum Plums
Whenever the day comes where I have own my own house and can plant my own orchard, this plum is on my list of things I would love to grow. The Bubble Gum ripens in August, about 20 days after the Red Haven peach - so we are looking at around mid to late August. They are a hardy plum that can be grown in zone 3 and upward. Here is a link to where you can buy the trees.
Menominee Conservation District
Thank you so much for finally helping me ID this plum. I bought a house with one of these plum trees, they are so delicious and I never knew what variety they were. They make a great jam! So easy to care for, I never spray, the fruit is flawless and gives me a huge crop year after year.
I'm located in western Montana and I harvest early September. Thanks again, Peggy