Plums are one of the most plentiful fruits on the American landscape and one of the least appreciated. Sweet beyond belief, plums can be found in groceries and farmers’ markets across the country and grow wild in untold numbers.
For all the versatility this jewel of a fruit offers, most Americans aren’t sure what a good plum looks like or how to pick a good plum. In this article, we hope to correct this.
We will look at:
- How Can You Tell If a Plum is Good? How to Pick a Good Plum
- What Does a Good Plum Look Like Inside?
- What Color is a Plum When Ripe?
- Which Kind of Plums are Purple Inside?
- Are Overripe Plums Safe to Eat?
How Can You Tell If a Plum is Good? How to Pick a Good Plum
Plums come in a vast array of types (200-300), ranging in colors from emerald green to black. This means you can’t judge a good plum by appearance alone. Of course, you will want to watch out for split skins or worm damage, but the best way to pick a good plum is by touch.
To tell if a plum is good, hold one in the palm of your hand with the bottom of the fruit down. It should feel very heavy for its size.
When you close your hand around the plum, there should be a slight softness in your palm; not a mushy feeling, just a gentle give. As your fingers continue to curl, the fruit should firm and feel more substantial towards the stem. If the plum is too soft, it is probably already past its prime.
A bit of a pro tip is if you are not going to be consuming your prize plums immediately, buy ones that are still a little firm. Placed in a brown paper sack at room temperature, they will go from green to perfectly ripe in one or two days.
What Does a Good Plum Look Like Inside?
A good plum will be fleshy and loaded with juice on the inside. Succulent is the word that comes to mind, and some varieties of plums have been described as buttery in texture.
Because there are so many types of plums available, there is no particular color you can look for. It is more about the creamy texture.
What Color is a Plum When Ripe?
There is no particular color that will tell you a plum is ripe. Plums come in almost every color of the rainbow, from an almost white lite green to a deep purple that often appears black. You can look for a white powdery substance on the smooth skin that easily wipes or washes off.
This powder is a sign that the fruit is ripe and hasn’t been overly handled.
Which Kind of Plums are Purple Inside?
There are no plums that have actual purple flesh. There are several varieties, though, that can have dark burgundy meat.
- Black Splendor
- ‘John W’ Plums
- Elephant Heart Plum
- Satsuma (Blood Plum)
These are all commonly found types that can have this very deep-red-colored flesh.
Are Overripe Plums Safe to Eat?
Yes, overripe plums are safe to eat as long as they haven’t started to rot or begun growing mold. In fact, depending on the variety, when they are at the very edge of usability, they are at their sweetest.
Plums that are overripe but not rotting are usually best for smoothies, jellies, and baking.