Dried Prunes are purple/black large chewy wrinkled dried fruits with a sweet honey taste. Also known as Dried Plums, prunes are made by dehydrating fresh ripe plums. Plums are sweet tree fruits with thin skin, juicy meat, and a seed pit in the center similar to nectarines, peaches, and almonds. Though the seed in inside the pit can be eaten, it is difficult to access and not commonly consumed. However, if cooking dried prunes with pits, a subtle bitter almond flavor may be instilled in the dish.
Fresh plums are soft and juicy. Dried prunes are soft and chewy and can easily be stewed down into glazes, sauces, and compotes. Plums and prunes are enjoyed in Asian, Russian, European, North African, and Jewish cultures.
Dried pitted plums are easy to enjoy. They can be eaten whole for snacking, or cooked up in a variety of ways. In China, dried plum snacks are coated in flavors like ginseng, licorice, chili powder, and sea salt. For savory meals consider adding them to rice, couscous, or quinoa dishes for a touch of sweetness and interesting texture. Prunes compliment beef, pork, duck, and turkey as a marinade, glaze, stuffing, or garnish. Like all dried fruits, dried prunes are easily added to oatmeal, ice cream, sorbet, cakes, muffins, and pie fillings. A holiday favorite, fruit cake, requires dried prunes.
Prunes have a long shelf life if stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
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