Foraging Ornamental Plums

img_20170726_125216.jpgThese are ornamental plum trees (Prunus spp.) growing by a church near where I live.  They have dark purple foliage, and if you look closely there are dark purple fruit too, which are very well hidden amongst the leaves.

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When I noticed the fruit, I just had to give them a try.  They are fairly big, with dark purple skin and gorgeous deep red colored flesh (surely packed with antioxidants).  How did I know that they were edible, though?  I didn’t, really, but I did know that this tree is closely related to a regular plum or cherry.  I also just tried a small amount first, and I guess instinct just took over-since then I have eaten many in one session and never had any problems.

So how are they?  Well I wouldn’t go out of my way to plant this tree just for the fruit, but they are not bad.  It’s hard to describe the taste though-they are not bitter or sour, but not really sweet either.  There is a flavor, but it’s not really amazing-although maybe I think that it’s not amazing because it’s not very sweet.  But I do think that they would probably be quite good baked into a pie or something, or perhaps used in a salad, and that it something I will try to do in the future.  I will also keep snacking on them when I am in the area.

I have eaten quite a few plum-like fruit planted in parks and public areas, and many of them are actually really good.  Sometimes I come across trees similar to this one, but with pink fruit, which basically taste like extra sweet plums.  I have also come across quite a few trees with orange or yellow fruit, which are generally quite good as well.

I don’t know exactly what this tree is, but I know that it is in the genus Prunus, which contains things like plums, cherries, peaches, and other stonefruit.  If somebody can tell me exactly what it is, I would be interested to know because that way I could find some more information about it online.

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