Me: Wait- what?
Ed: A plum is not -necessarily- a prune.
Me: But aren't prunes just dried plums?
Ed: It can be. But a prune is a specific variety of plum.
Who knew? I thought a prune was the dried version of a plum, just like a raisin is the dried version of a grape.
I also thought that the reason we are seeing more dried fruits labeled as "dried plums" instead of "prunes" was entirely a marketing gimmick. You can read more about the re-branding of prunes here, and here.
After the conversation with Ed, I wondered what a fresh prune looked like, and if I'd ever see one.
About a week later, Joan and I were at Costco, and guess what? Fresh prunes:
Here is what the prune looks like inside:
I'm sure there are different varieties of prunes, and they probably are not all this exact size or color. This one is an "Italian Prune"- but grown in the USA- ha. (the more I learn about food, the more I realize names and labels don't mean much, if anything. Labels are designed for marketing, not information).
Italian prune. Image source.
So- in Ed's words: "all prunes are plums, but not all plums are prunes." I feel like I need a Venn diagram for that.
OK, I am a total geek : )
For more about plums and prunes:
A discussion on Chowhound about Italian Prune dessert recipes
An article on theKitchn about in-season Italian Prunes.
A beautiful photo and recipe for a Double Plum Tart. It is a traditional recipe, but could easily be adapted and made allergy-friendly.
Happy Healthy Librarian just posted What Ten Dried Plums (Prunes) a Day Can Do for Your Bones, summarizing a recently published study on prunes and bone density.
World's Healthiest Foods nutritional information on Prunes and Plums