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May 25, 2012 05:14 PM

Little Green Mystery Plum


I was hoping someone out there could provide me with a little enlightement as to some plums I purchased a few days ago from a Middle Eastern supermarket (and have found in previos years in Indian supermarkets as well). They sort of resemble green gages (the tiny Old English Reine Claude type not the larger or more pointed green plums often sold as greengages here in the US) maybe a tiny bit paler. They are incredibly hard, as if they are severely underripe. Normally that's what I'd assume they must be underripe greengages. However not only are ALL of them ALWAYS sold in this rock hard state, but by and large they never actually soften up, no matter how long they are kept (so if they are underripe, they are sold so underripe that no one could selling them could expect them to ripen). and the rare one that does soften up seems not to really taste much like a greengage, it is at best sort of sour and more often than not tastes of absolutely nothing. So does anyone have a clue as to what these plums actually are. I have seen a Turkish plum on Ebay (in offering for pits) called a Kascarta that sort of looks the same. and as a secondary question, if these fruits are supposed to be sold in this hyper underripe state, how exactly is one supposed to prepare them? are they supposed to be pickled (like ume plums) or cooked in syrup. Clues please.

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  1. I'm not going to be much help because I've never eaten one myself, but what you're describing sounds a lot like the sour plums I've seen for sale by one seller at the farmer's market. He sells them as "sour green plums" and serves them with tabasco and I assume you can eat them raw as such...?

    1. I encountered a new type of plum in the farmers' market in Berlin recently called Spillinge. I don't know what they're called in English, but they're small, green and tart. They use them here to make jam, which ends up tasting a bit like gooseberry or maybe rhubarb jam. Google Spillinge and see if that's what you've got?

      1. They will never ripen. I have a bunch in my fridge right now. Try them dipped in salt...omg! So good! Here is a link telling about them:

        1. They are mainly eaten raw to answer your other question.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nyfoodie718

            Thank you. And you were right, with a little salt they are a lot better, partiucalry the ones that are a little riper (they got softer the deeper into the contatiner I) I imagine that the halves in the salt water (I halved them before tossing them in sice I wanted to keep the pits for planting like I do with all the plums peaches etc. I eat.) will taste even better in a day or so.