Plums
PLUMS.
INTRODUCTION

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The plum is the fruit of the plum tree, tree of the family of the Rosy ones that reaches 5 meters high. This family includes more than 2.000 species of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees distributed by the moderate regions of the whole world. The principal European fruits, in addition to the rosebush, belong to this big family. It appears in a wide scale of sizes, forms, colors and flavors that depend on the variety.




ORIGIN AND VARIETIES

The plums are original of the Caucasus, Anatolia (Turkey) and Persia (Iran). The principal producing countries are Argentina, Chile, South Africa, the United States and, in Spain, he emphasizes his cultivation in Aragon, in the Mediterranean area and in the provinces of Seville and Lerida. According to the color of his skin, the plums can qualify in yellow, red, black and green.

- The yellow ones are fruits of acidic flavor and abundant juice.

- The red ones are juicy and with a flavor more sweet than the yellow ones.

- The black women have the bluish or blackish skin and they are most adapted to cook.

- Those of green skin are named a Greengage and are characterized by his sweetness.


Between the varieties most known in our country they are:

Golden Japan: of pulp very juicy and extremely sweet straw, brilliant, thick, resistant and of clear yellow skin. It usually appears on the Spanish market from the second June two weeks.

Santa Rosa: it would cause of the Asian wild plum, there are fruits of big, rounded and heart-shaped size. His skin is of an intense red color and his meat, yellow amber, very juicy, sweet and perfumed. His compilation is realized in the middle of July, although it is a variety in clear regression on the market of our country because it is very delicate and gets damaged with facility.

Claudia Reina Verde: it differs from all other for being the most sweet and exquisite variety. The color of his skin is dark green and the very juicy and refreshing pale green pulp. It is excellent like table fruit or for the making of compotes, conserves and jams. His compilation is realized in July and August.

Queen Claudia de Oullins: named this way in France in honor to the wife of Francisco I, it is a light green and golden fruit, of pale and very juicy meat. It is one of the most widespread varieties that is cultivated especially in Saragossa.

Arandana: there are fruits of average size and leather color dark garnet, and the pulp, although it is beefy, he does not stand out for his sweetness. It is late as for his appearance on the market.

Laetitia and Larry Ann: there are purple, very big plums (55 millimeters), consistent, turgid as for his texture, which almost allows to taste them with knife and holder. They usually matter of other countries and occupy a space in the time that there is no national production.

Metley: these plums are known commercially with the name of plum "strawberry" by his skin of purple color, his juicy pulp of intense rosy color and very sweet flavor similar to that of the strawberry.

Network beauty: it is the earliest variety in appearing on the Spanish market. It has the skin of vinoso color, pulp and juicy of yellow color, beefy with a quite insipid flavor, lightly acidulously.

HIS BEST EPOCH

The plums announce his maturation for the special perfume that they detach. We can find them on the market from ends of April until September.

CHARACTERISTICS

It forms: it is a rounded or egg-shaped and heart-shaped drupe. With oblong bone formed by two seeds in his interior that lose his germinative faculty after one month.

Size and weight: the most common calibers range from the 35 to 55 millimeters and it has an approximate diameter of approximately 7 centimeters and a 65 grams weight.

Color: the skin and the pulp have a uniform and intense color, which according to the variety will be yellow, green or red violet.

Flavor: depending on the cultivation variety there are flavors that resemble the strawberry between acids and sweets or more perfumed flavors. The contrast is typical between the bitter skin and the sweet pulp, what makes them exquisite like ingredient in different plates.

The plums destined for the transport and for the table, must be gathered to hand, trying that the whitish wax that covers them (pruina) remains intact.


HOW TO CHOOSE IT AND TO PRESERVE IT


On having bought plums, it is necessary to insure itself that should be firm, should not be spoiled and should be covered of a light dull grit. If they are taken straight of the tree, it is known that they are mature when shaking lightly the tree some fruit falls down. The plum, once it has reached his ripeness point, does not last any more than two or three days. If they are bought green, it is convenient them to leave to temperature ambience so that they mature. Once in the hearth they must keep in the refrigerator for a few days. Before consuming the plums, it is convenient to wash them carefully since normally they are consumed by skin.



Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 45
Carbohydrates (g) 11
Fibre (g) 2,1
Potassium (mg) 190
Magnesium (mg) 8
Calcium (mg) 14
Vitamin C (mg) 3
Provitamina A (mcg) 21
Vitamin And (mg) 0,7
mcg = micrograms
NOURISHING PROPERTIES


The principal component of the plums is the water, followed by the carbohydrates, between which he emphasizes the presence of sorbitol, of light laxative action. The vitamins contribution is not excellent, although he emphasizes his content moderated in provitamina A (more abundant in those of dark color) and vitamin E (it intervenes in the stability of the blood cells and in the fertility), both of antirust action. The provitamina or beta caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The vitamin A is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system. As for his minerals content, they are rich in potassium. The potassium, it is a mineral necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse and for the normal muscular activity, it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell. They are characterized for possessing antocianos (pigments of antirust and antiseptic action) and malic acid. This organic acid is part of the vegetable pigment that provides flavor to the fruit. Likewise, his plenty of fibre and other laxative components (sorbitol and derivatives of the hifroxifenilxantina), improves the intestinal transit.




AS REGARDS THE HEALTH
The plum is very rich in antocianos that provide to him his typical color (especially valuable in the varieties of red and purple tones). From the point of view of the health, the antocianos have antirust and antiseptic action; to fight infectious processes. The antirust ones block the harmful effect of the so called "free radicals".

The respiration in the presence of oxygen is essential in the cellular life of our organism, but as a result of the same one there take place a few molecules, the free radicals, which cause along the life negative effects for the health across his aptitude to alter the ADN (the genes), the proteins and the lípidos or fats ("oxidation"). In our body there exist cells that are renewed continuously (of the skin, of the intestine...) and others that not (cells of the liver...) . With the years, the free radicals increase the risk that genetic alterations take place on the first ones, favoring the cancer development or, reduce the functionality of the second ones, what is typical of the aging process. There exist certain situations that increase the free radicals production, between them: the intense physical exercise, the environmental contamination, the nicotinism, the infections, situations of stress, diets rich in fats and her on exhibition to the solar radiation. The relation between antirust and cardiovascular diseases, it is today a well sustained affirmation. It is known that it is the modification of the called "bad cholesterol" (LDL-c), which redeems a fundamental role both in the beginning and in the development of the aterosclerosis (illness that consists of an engrosamiento and abnormal hardness of the internal covering of the blood glasses, due to a deposit of greasy material and cells, which prevents or makes the step of the blood difficult). The antirust ones can block the free radicals that modify the called bad cholesterol, helping to reduce the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk. On the other hand, the low levels of antirust constitute a risk factor for certain types of cancer and of degenerative illnesses.

What in fact he emphasizes from the plums is his laxative action, the fibre content, of sorbitol (a type of sugar) and of derivatives of the hifroxifenilxantina, substances that stimulate the activity of the muscles of the colon. This explains his traditional use as laxatively in case of constipation. An ideal breakfast to fight the constipation and to protect the mucous membrane of the intestine, must contain fresh, dry plums, in compote or in the shape of delightful jam.

Laxative effect

The plums constitute an ideal laxative for all the persons, especially for the children, the elders and the pregnant women, who often present constipation. The continued use of the fresh plums in summer and dessicated or in the shape of jam the rest of the year, he helps to conquer the lazy intestine and to re-educate the intestinal function. The soluble fibre of the plums, in addition to improving the intestinal transit, has the aptitude to retain water, for what it swells up in the stomach forming a gel, what reduces the speed of gastric emptying and the speed of absorption of the carbohydrates. This turns them into useful fruits in slimming systems, since his consumption produces satiety sensation, although consumed with restraint, for his carbohydrates plenty, what also there have to bear in mind the persons who have diabetes. Also, the soluble fibre forms a viscous gel that fixes the fat and the cholesterol, with what it diminishes the absorption of the above mentioned substances. This is positive in case of hipercolesterolemia.

For his potassium plenty, the plums consumption has to be done moderately in case of renal insufficiency, in which the contribution of the above mentioned mineral is restricted. Nevertheless, for his high place contained in water, potassium and malic acid (alcaliniza the urine), beneficial diuretic possesses an effect in case of hiperuricemia or drop and litiasis or kidney stones (they facilitate the elimination of uric acid and his salt), arterial hypertension or other illnesses associated with retention of liquids. Also his consumption is convenient when there are used diuretics that eliminate the above mentioned mineral, and in case of bulimia due to the episodes of autoinduced vomiting that cause big losses.

The oxalic acid that the purple plums contain can form salt with certain minerals like the calcium and form oxalato calcic, by what his consumption has to be born in mind if this type of kidney stones is endured, since it might aggravate the situation.


CURIOSITIES
In the Japanese culture it is a fruit commonly used as symbol of prosperity, since the plum tree is the first one in blooming.

So that the plum turns out to be tasty and shows all his nourishing qualities, consumed like fresh fruit, it must mature in the tree and not in cold-storage rooms. Nevertheless, the plums that are assined to the conserves making can be gathered as soon as they present the pruina on his skin. In general, the trees that produce plums to cook are bigger, resistant and vigorous than those who yield fruits to consume like table fruit.


HOW TO PREPARE THEM AND TO PRESERVE THEM

The plums are one of the most appetizing and refreshing fruits during the warm months of summer, especially when newly extracted fresh airs of the refrigerator take.

All the dark plums and some of the clearest varieties have bitter skins and can be used to prepare jams, jams and gelatine of a transparent luminosity. Also there can be prepared delightful sweet and sour sauces that accompany meats and crepes.

In Center Europe, Germany and Austria, the plums enter the composition of donuts that pass for sugar mixed with grated chocolate, and also they appear in the famous persons Strudels, a type of made mass of many layers of very thin pasta that is refilled and is wrapped then to be baked until it is creaking and golden. In Germany, the station of the plums is equivalent to Pflaumenkuchen to taste, that is to say, a pasta covered by a preparation of this fruit.

The drying is different of the interesting alternatives of the plums. The plums can be used you happen, that boil away the native, cooked or like accompaniment of different sweet plates, combined with other fruits, or salty food, particularly in plates of meats of fighter.





BAVAROIS OF PLUMS

4
60'
high place

Ingredients

- 250 grams of sugar
- 1/4 of liter of milk
- half a vanilla sheath
- 1 kilogram of plums
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 gelatine sheets
- half a liter of cream

To cook the milk with the vanilla and to preserve it warms. To beat the egg yolks with the sugar, to mount them, to add the milk and to cook to the bain-marie. To add the plums to pieces. To dissolve the gelatine in lukewarm water and to add it to the previous miscellany. To remove with rods the miscellany until it remains homogeneous and to allow to cool. To add the cream when it should be cold but not curd and to spill in a mold and to allow to cool in the icebox.



 
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