When it comes to eating fruit, I love my stone fruit. From cherries to peaches to plums, some of the sweetest, tastiest tree grown food on earth are stone fruits. One of the three fruits I mentioned plums are the most unique. Most cherry and peach varieties are hard to tell apart. Not the case with plums. They are so many colors of plums – black, purple, red, yellow, and everything in between. Plums are also the only fruit of those three that I haven’t written about when they are in season. So I thought it was about time! Since stone fruit is typically only good when it’s in season. So you have to know when the season begins and ends.
When Does Plum Season Generally Run?
Plums are generally in season somewhere in the United States from the end of May all the way into October. The varieties that have their origins in Japan ripen first, and the European varieties, which we usually refer to as prune plums, ripen later.
California is the number 1 producer of plums in the United States. They ship plums all over the country, so there is a good chance you are finding California plums in your grocery store. The California plums start to ripen usually in late May. The season goes until around the start of September.
My home state of Michigan ranks 4th in plum production. Michigan grows more of the European style prune plums like the Stanley variety but you can also find the Japanese varieties grown in the state. Stanley plums are available right around the start of apple season in September. Due to the extremely mild winter experienced in Michigan this year, plum trees began blooming in March. Hopefully no more hard freezes occur. Plums could be really early in 2012.
Plums in the Winter
Because we import a lot of fruit in this country, you can find plums in the store year round. The plums you tend to find in the winter are from Chile. I typically shy away from fruit grown half a world away, but this past winter, I tried some lemon plums that were grown in Chile and they were delicious.
What about Pluots or Plumcot?
A pluots, also called a plumcot is a combination apricot and plum, with plum being more dominant. These were developed more recently and have become quite popular. The peak season for pluots is around the end of summer. A guy named Chip Brantley wrote a fascinating read on pluots called The Perfect Fruit. It will get your mouth watering.
If you are into eating the best each season has to offer before you leave the site today, check out my e-book series [Eat Like No One Else] This… to find all the best information on what’s best each season, in an easy to read and very affordable package.