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Mar 15, 2008 06:18 PM

recipe for dried plums (not prunes)

I bought some dried plums at Murray's Cheese in NYC, and thought they would be sweet, but they are actually very sour--far too tart to eat straight. Does anyone have any recipe suggestions?


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  1. Um... perhaps I'm making myself look like an idiot, but aren't dried plums and prunes synonymous?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dmnkly

      If you're an idiot, then so am I. I think "dried plums" is some ad-man's way of making prunes seem less geriatric.

    2. The organization formerly known as the California Prune Board ( claims that in the U.S. they are referred to as "dried plums" but the "rest of the world" calls them prunes. Yeah right.

      2 Replies
      1. re: smittys

        Right after I posted this, I saw a commercial for "Plum" juice from Sunsweet. Funny, they used to make prune juice. ;-)

        1. re: smittys

          reminds me of the caption joke on a birthday card my sister hated: "she called it a beauty mark, everyone else called it a mole" (picture on front of card was of gal with rodent mole hanging on her face.)

          yes, dried plums are the old prunes. and yes, thanks to a marketing effort to enhance slumping sales for an "unsexy" product. prune juice is, well, for OLD people, is the cultural thinking. dried plums are "hip" and "green" and "california health life style".

        2. Dried plums might be an Asian thing. Only prune plums are dried into prunes. There are probably as many varieties of plums as there of guava.

          1. Sounds like you may have gotten your hands on some of the salted dried plums that are popular in Southeast Asia and Hawai'i. Google "li hing mui" and you'll get plenty of ideas.

            8 Replies
              1. re: sarah galvin

                I'd be surprised if Murray's sold those ... they have a lot of dried fruits to serve with cheese, but I've not seen any Asian ones there. But, I could, of course, be completely wrong!

                1. re: MMRuth

                  no, these are not prune-like at all, as we all know and love (sometimes) them! These resemble sundried tomatoes--and are not mui (I know exactly what you're referring to). I thought they would be a good accompaniment to cheese, but they are not.
                  I don't know what to do with these now. Maybe put them in a tagine.

                  1. re: linus500

                    Hmm ... any way you could post a photo - I'm so curious now. Any identifying information on the packaging?

                    1. re: linus500

                      As Sarah said, there are dozens if not hundreds of varieties of plums. The ones traditionally dried for prunes were Italian prune plums and are almost too sweet to eat fresh. The high sugar content helped them dry well naturally. But anything (well, within reason) can be dried with a dehydrator. These must not have been very sweet plums to start.

                      A tagine is a good idea. Are they tarter than dried cranberries or could they be used like them? Or used like tamarind paste?

                      You might mention to the cheese shop how tart they are. It might not be what they think they're getting from their supplier.

                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                        They aren't like sweetened dried cranberries, but much tarter, but I don't think as sour as tamarind paste. I don't think most people would find these enjoyable to eat as is. This is what the label states, although it doesn't list any ingredients:

                        Dried Plums
                        These dried plums are in the top percentile of dried fruits; succulent, moist, and chewy (rather than desiccated and tooth-breaking), with a sweet tartness reminiscent of the snappy skin of a ripe black plum. Oh, and they're good for you, too!

                        And here's a picture! Hope this works.

                        1. re: linus500

                          Iranians add very tart dried plums to fessenjoon, a delicious sweet and sour chicken stew with ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses. The Iranian plums don't look anything like your picture, but they are also super sour (and I eat them as is, and adore them).

                          1. re: linus500

                            They sure do look like dried plums, but a different kind that is used to make prunes.

                2. I am guessing that they are "aloo bukharay" which are small sour dried plums. The more recently dried ones are golden and the older they are the become dark. They are used in Persian, Central Asian, and South Asian (North Indian and especially North Indian Muslim) cooking as a souring agent. I use them in several biryani and pullao recipes. I don't know if you are much into Indo-Pak cooking, but you could google a recipe for Kabuli pullao or biriani with aloo bukhara (not all biriani recipes require it so you would have to find one that does).

                  I would leave a recipe but they are kind of long and complex for those types of rice dishes so I'll only post it if you request one.

                  You can also make a chutney called aloo bukharay ki chutney with them.