Have you ever wandered through the produce department of your grocery store and come across an item you’ve never seen before?
That’s how I stumbled upon these beautiful lemon plums! While I usually like to support local farming, there are simply some products that aren’t available here in the U.S. These unusual plums are grown in Chile. While domestic plums are usually available from May to October, the availability for these pretty lemon plums is very short, usually only a few weeks at the end of February. So what makes them so special?
These lemon plums are more named for their shape than their flavor. The shape is very similar to a lemon, except that they are rounded on one end, with a little nipple or point at the other. They are sometimes referred to as chameleon plums because of the way they change color as they ripen. When not ripe, they are often bright yellow in color and fairly tart or sour. As they ripen, the color changes from yellow to orange to a deep reddish purple. Like other plums, they have an inedible pit in the center. But they are extremely sweet and juicy, with very fragrant and floral notes.
This lovely winter fruit is low in calories; only about 45 calories per plum. They have a significant level of dietary fiber, so they are beneficial to your digestive health. And dietary fiber is known to help lower “bad” cholesterol. They are also rich in Vitamin C, which is important for strengthening our immune systems. Vitamin A is also found in lemon plums. Vitamin A is known to support vision health, as well as improve the quality of our skin, and even contribute to the prevention of certain types of cancer.
So if you see these gorgeous plums at your local market, scoop them up! They may not be there the next time you return. But let me just tell you that the ripening time is unusually long. It can take more than a week after you get the plums home before they will be ideal to eat!