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Jun 28, 2010 07:20 PM

What is this fruit??

We moved to a new house in Northern California and have two trees sprouting mystery fruits. Both trees have fruits that are about the size of a cherry and light green in color. One of the trees, the fruit is hard and a handful on the tree have red coloring, but mainly they fall to the ground green. The other tree has fruits that at first glance seem the same but are much softer, almost the texture of a plum. they seemed to all be light green. Much to the horror of my husband I tried the soft one and it tasted plum like but maybe because I was thinking about plums. Any clues to what these fruits are? Thanks!!

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  1. it would help if you could post photos of both fruits (and even the trees), but it sounds like the one you tasted was a green gage or Italian plum.

    10 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      pictures would be nice. Husband is really freaking out now, does not want daughter to ever eat the fruit. I told him internet confirmation was good for me :) Plus I have eaten two and so far so good! My phone is taking a while to send the pictures, so first here is the fruit. The one on the left is the one I ate. What's weird is the smaller one looks the same just not ripe. Even the trees are similar, but I have been watching that fruit for a while and it has not appeared to get any riper. The ripe one I just noticed today

      1. re: elliora

        If you don't get an answer here try posting on the Gardening board. Also, what the pit or seeds look like.

        1. re: elliora

          they really do look like green plums. if there's any light reddish mottling on them, they're probably green gage. if they're completely green, i'd guess Italian. but greygarious had a good suggestion - i'm sure the folks on the Gardening board can help.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I was debating between the two boards, uhm they look like pits :) No they are small relative to the fruit, brownish color. Yeah that does no good. I'll post pics of those too if I get no answer. Leaning towards green gage though. Of course now my stomach is starting to hurt, dang hubby got in my head! I added pictures of the trees

            1. re: elliora

              They're greengages (green plums) most likey. The "old style" greengages are quite small about golf ball sized. As for the coloration there is such a thing as a "red gage" plum it's just a lot more obscure. You're actually rather lucky, over here "old style" greenages are often treated as, and priced as exotic fruit due to the short season (if they are greengages the trees could start running out of fruit in only a month)

              1. re: jumpingmonk

                I see time has passed. I was guessing green gages - except for thier turing red - which green gages don't. It is def. a plum. Too round for italian, so maybe another kind. But it is def a plum.

                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                  well, there is such a thing as a "red gage" plum, it's just not mentioned much anymore. Do a little web wandering and you may find a picture that matches (just note the spelling "greengage" is written as one word, but "red gage" usually isn't .

                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    They do develop a yellowish-reddish-bluish blush when they are ripe. They are my favourite plums.

                    They were fairly common in the UK.

                    But I don't miss them as much as I miss gooseberries. (aka goosegogs)

                    1. re: Paulustrious

                      Don't they grow them in Ontario any more? Surprising.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        It does and it doesn't
                        The basic problem is in this case is one of nomenclatural confusion. In the UK "greengage" refers to a very specific set of realted small round green fleshed plums. Here in the US however ANY green fleshed plum is likely to get called a greengage regardless of whether it is closely related to the "true" greengage or not. The "classic" greengage is avalable in many nursery catalouges and at some small fruit markets from time to time, but isn't really all that popular with commecial growers anymore, the season is really short (about 4 weeks, according to the last time I asked someone at the farmers market selling them) and the average consumer really isnt that used to a small often bitter skinned plum anymore. Most of the green plum market is taken up by the Japanese green plum a large firm rather heart shaped fruit (there is also a varitation that is similar in flavor to the "classic" but much larger (about baseball sized) but that's not very well known. I happen to prefer the "classic version" to the Japanese but it often seems like I am in the minority; in NYC, "classic" greenages are often treated as (and priced as!) highly exotic fruit ($10-$20 a pound is not unusual to see) further limiting it's acessibility