How To Ripen Plums

Nobody likes eating unripe plums. The taste is hard to describe but astringent seems to be a good way to describe it. Others mention having a puckered mouth after tasting an unripe plum.

It leaves a dry feeling in the mouth, and some sourness remains for some time. Eating the threads of a banana peel is a close example. Harsh, and numbing are also used to describe when eating unripe plums.

Anyways, you must have unripe plums in your tabletop right now. And you want to know how to make them eatable quickly. This guide will discuss the method almost everyone uses when they want to ripen plums. (Learn How To Ripen Tomatoes Off The Vine)


The Simplest Way to Ripen Plums

Using a paper bag will have your plums ripe within a day. Put your plums in a clean paper bag with some space left. Close the bag, and let it sit for some time.

How long you want to store the plums depends on the ripeness you prefer. There are different varieties and different levels of ripeness. Read the “How to Tell if Plums Are Ripe Section” to make the right call.

Again, use a clean paper bag to store some of your plums. Then seal it for some time at room temperature. Keep it away from the sun’s light, and never put it in the fridge.

Why Does Paper Bag Trick Work?

The fruits produce ethylene. It is the gas that fruits make that tells them to begin the ripening process. The more of this gas a fruit is exposed to the faster it will ripen. This is where the paper bags come in.

Paper bags are porous which means they let air inside. All plucked plums produce ethylene. Being stuck together inside a container hastens the climacteric bit.

Also, the gas inside would circulate for a longer period.


How Do You Know if Plums Are Ripe?

There are three good ways you could tell if a plum is ripe. The best way is lightly to squeeze or press the fruit. If it is soft and becomes dented that’s a sign of ripeness

You could also look at it. Plums change color according to their variety. So it could be purple, green, or even black. A powdery appearance is an indication too.

Smelling the plums is a good idea as well. Unripe plums give little to no odor but the ripe ones give a strong scent. (Read How To Tell When Butternut Squash Is Ripe)

And of course, one can attempt a taste test. It’s not recommended but it is one way. Ripe plums should be juicy, and sweet.

Do plums ripen after being picked?

The answer is Yes. Once they are picked they still give off ethylene. There are lots of fruits that are like this.

Other fruits that continue to ripen after being picked are:

  • apricots
  • bananas
  • cantaloupes
  • kiwis
  • peaches
  • plantains
  • watermelons
  • pineapples
  • grapes,
  • oranges
  • grapefruits
  • apples

When to Pick Plums

That depends on what your intent is. Ethylene is still produced after they fall from the tree so they will eventually ripe. You could take into account delivery time to avoid over-riping.

And did you know that plums tend to be tastier if left alone hanging? Yes, if you let them ripen in the tree they will be of superior quality. This is one thing you should take into account.

Pests and weather could ruin your ripe ones. Or even those that are still ripening so. Better to harvest them when you see them changing color or being powdery.

Types of Plums

There are lots of plums, and it seems that global cultivation started a long time ago. It is thought to be one of the first fruits ever to be domesticated.

As one might expect, there are a lot of types out there. You can group plums based on color and you’d still have a handful of each!

Let’s take a look at the two species of plums that have a big share in the global economy.

European plum – is used for the production of many products including prunes, jellies, and jams. A lot can be found on the western side of the States. Their typical colors include red and cyan.

Japanese plum – eaten fresh more than its European counterpart. It’s sweet, and the shape is oblong rather than round. Also, it comes in an array of captivating colors.

Health Benefits of Plums

Plums are nutritious. They provide a wide range of vitamins especially potassium and iron. It is widely thought that they boost bone, cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems

Aside from nutrients, they provide anti-oxidants which are needed in preventing cancer. Plums have a lot of fiber which aids digestion. And they are good against diabetes

The list goes on! Plums are delicious, and they can be incorporated into your diet easily. It is a good idea to continue to ramp up on these fruits.

Random Tips

Always keep ripe fruit at room temperature. Putting them in the refrigerator makes them lose their taste. Also, putting them in direct sunlight causes them to be discolored.

Use a brown paper bag when keeping the ethylene gas concentrated because it allows air to come in. If you want to ripen the fruit add in a ripe banana. Apples can also be used to ripen them faster.

A hand twist and pull is a common method to pick prunes. Using a stick to shake or cut the portion just above the fruit is also widespread.

Since room temperature is the only way to go, you would want to consume ripe plums fast. Over-ripe fruit will make those around it riper. Keep them separated.

The texture and taste of plums vary. But if you think something is off check the characteristics of your plum plant. (Read Our Growing Potatoes Indoors Guide)

You could actually store them at above room temperature. Just don’t keep them too cold.

There is a myriad of plum recipes on the internet. Try some of them out so you could gain a new experience while using those wonderful fruits.

Also, if you think that a lot of the plums in your yard get wasted consider donating. It’ll help a lot to those in need in your community.

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