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Prune-Plums (dried Plums) Fruit Facts Page Information
Availability by variety
Prune-Plum Certain varieties of plums have such firm flesh and such a high sugar content that they can be dried with little loss of their original plumpness and flavor. These plums are called prune-plums, and the dried plums themselves are called prunes.

Plums are divided into three groups--European, Japanese, and native North American--based on their geographic origins. European plums include the familiar blue fruits commonly found in European and American markets. They are widely grown in California. The tart damson plums, from which jams and jellies are made, belong to this group, as do the firm sweet varieties that are dried to make prunes.

It is believed that the ancient peoples of the Middle East were the first to dry plums to make prunes. Prunes have been prepared for centuries in France, and the prunes from the region around Agen are still considered by many to be the best in the world. Today, orchards in California, which use Agen plums almost exclusively, yield a major share of the world's prunes. Prunes are also produced in some central European and South American countries.

Nutrition and Consumption:
Prunes are a good source of vitamins A and B, are high in fiber, and are rich in iron, calcium, and phosphorus. Their pulp is used as food for infants. Prunes are eaten raw, soaked or stewed alone or with other fruits, and used in jams and desserts. The pulp, stewed fruit, and juice are packaged commercially.

Detailed nutritional informatin can be found by searching the USDA Nutritional Database . Enter "Prune or Plum" (no quotes) as the keyword and select the link and report of interest.

Scientific classification:
Plums belong to the genus Prunus of the family Rosaceae. The common European plum is classified as Prunus domestica, the Japanese plum as Prunus salicina, and the Damson plum as Prunus insititia.
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