A Plum is a fruit of the sub-genus Prunus of the genus Prunus. The sub-genus is distinguished from other sub-genera (peaches, cherries, bird cherries, etc.) in the shoots having terminal bud and solitary side buds (not clustered), the flowers in groups of one to five together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one side and a smooth stone (or pit).The taste of the plum fruit ranges from sweet to tart; the skin itself may be particularly tart. It is juicy and can be eaten fresh or used in jam-making or other recipes. Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine. In central England, a cider-like alcoholic beverage known as plum jerk-um is made from plums.
Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans.Three of the most abundant cultivars are not found in the wild, only around human settlements: Prunus domestica has been traced to East European and Caucasian mountains, while Prunus salicina and Prunus simonii originated in Asia. Plum remains have been found in Neolithic age archaeological sites along with olives, grapes and figs.
Dried plums (or prunes) are also sweet and juicy and contain several antioxidants . Plums and prunes are known for their laxative effect. This effect has been attributed to various compounds present in the fruits, such as dietary fiber,sorbitol,and isatin. Prunes and prune juice are often used to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system . Dried prune marketers in the USA have, in recent years, begun marketing their product as “dried plums”. This is due to “prune” having negative connotations connected with elderly people suffering from constipation.
The Serbian plum (Serbian: ????? / šljiva) is the third most produced in the world. In the Balkans, plum is converted into an alcoholic drink named slivovitz (plum brandy) (Serbian: ????????? / sljivovica ).
A large number of plums, of the Damson variety, are also grown in Hungary, where they are called szilva and are used to make lekvar(a plum paste jam), Palinka (traditional fruit brandy), plum dumplings, and other foods. The region of Szabolcs-Szatmar, in the northeastern part of the country near the borders with Ukraine and Romania, is a major producer of plums.