Satsuma Plums; A Serious Fruit

My favorite plum is a serious plum. It is a plum of wine and roses. It is a plum that would discuss obscure literature, if it could. It is a plum for twilight and romance and deep, passionate thoughts. It is a plum for poets and playwrights.

AlbrightSouza_SatsumaPlum_IMG_3509

Satsuma plums reveal their ruby-fleshed heart

The Satsuma plum has flesh that is a startling crimson. Of all the lovely varieties of plum it is one of the few that is actually deeper colored on the inside than the outside. It is the color of a bitten lip, a spot of blood, a beating heart.

Perjoy Satsuma Plum slice

Satsuma plums are deeply colored inside and out

It can be confusing, because the name Satsuma is much more commonly known as the name of a citrus fruit. Both the citrus and the plum originate from an area of Japan known as Satsuma. In addition to fruit, the word Satsuma can refer to a district, a peninsula, a type of snail, a battleship, a Samurai battle, a type of pottery and towns in Alabama, Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Maybe that’s why this beautiful plum doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves.

Perjoy Satsuma Plums Pears

Satsuma plums alternate with fresh pear slices for sharp contrast that highlights both fruit. Savory plum salsa waits in the background.

Oh, when the fruit is young, it is cheerful and bright-fleshed and sweet-tart like a teenager. This is when it is best for pies and chutneys and relishes. As the sugars come forward, and it continues to ripen, there comes a languid sexiness. At this stage it is perfect for eating out of hand. It adds drama to a fruit plate and gravitas to a cheese course.

Perjoy Satsuma Plum Sauce

Satsuma plums make a luxurious sauce

As it matures it mellows and softens, the color deepens and it becomes luxurious and dangerously ripe. This is when it is beautiful roasted or baked or jammed. It’s the serious color as much as the flavor that lends itself to savory dishes. When used with herbs and spices it creates richness and depth…reminiscent of dangerous liaisons, candlelit dinners and deep velvet upholstery.

Perjoy Black Pepper Roasted Plums

Oven-Roasted Black Pepper Plums – recipe below

To grow this versatile plum in your own edible garden, you should know that it is considered a mid-season fruit, which means that it usually ripens in August on the central California coast. It is quite hardy once it’s established and will do best with another plum nearby to serve as a pollinator.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to use this ruby-colored gem.

Perjoy Pierced Satsuma Plums with Shrimp

Grilled Pierced Satsuma Plums with Shrimp

———————recipe —————-

 — Grilled Pierced Plums with Shrimp —

Skewer generous slices of firm Satsuma plums and alternate with sliced red onion and medium sized shrimp.

Baste with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Grill until shrimp are done.

Season with sea salt and a touch of chipotle pepper to serve.

—————–recipe———————

— Oven Roasted Black Pepper Plums —

Slice 6 Satsuma plums into buttered ovenproof dish

Add 3 Tablespoons of zinfandel or other good red wine

Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of sugar

Add 1-2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

Roast until soft and bubbling and browning on top apprx. 30-40 minutes at 375

Serve with a soft cheese on good bread

———–more Plum ideas——–

Switch out some or all of the tomatoes in your favorite salsa recipe for a delicious Satsuma Plum Salsa

Satsumas are dramatic in drinks and cocktails. Soak them in good Gin for a week and watch the spirit take on a beautiful color along with a fruity flavor. Use in a Plum-tini or your favorite cocktail. Garnish with the soaked fruit.

 

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Categories: Things to Eat

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2 Comments on “Satsuma Plums; A Serious Fruit”

  1. Beth Benjamin
    August 28, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    I love this sexy plum rant! If it weren’t 11:40 pm, I’d start reading all her blog entries right now.

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  1. The Best Garden Bloggers of 2013 - August 27, 2013

    […] the blog title. I love the flat design of her blog. Check out the color and descriptive language in her post on Satsuma Plums; I mean really. All other plums now look anemic to […]

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