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Relatives of the peach, nectarine and almond, plums are the most diverse group of stone fruit. Their color ranges from green through yellow to red, purple and blue, their flavor from very sweet to sour. There are four major categories of plums-European, Japanese, damson and native American.. Most European plums are prune plums with purple skin and sweet yellow flesh. Santa Rosa is the best of the Japanese plums with a rich distinctive flavor, purple-red skin and either amber or red flesh.


Plums are excellent in galettes, crisps, clafoutis, custard based tarts, jam, ice cream, dessert soups, sauces and salads.


Luther Burbank started importing Japanese plum trees in 1885 and introduced the Santa Rosa plum in 1906. Because of his efforts, today the Santa Rosa plum accounts for more than a third of California's plum harvest. Mr. Burbank also crossed plums with other fruits and developed pluots (mostly plum), plumcots (equal plum and apricot) and apriums (mostly apricot).

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