Plums are at their best between May until September but are available year round.
Look for fresh fruits featuring rich colour and have a slight whitish covering; this means they have not been over handled. A ripe plum will yield to gentle pressure and have a sweet aroma. Do not buy plums that are soft, or with bruises. Also, avoid excessively hard plums as they are immature and will not develop a good taste.
You can ripen slightly hard mature plums at room temperature. Best to eat ripe ones or keep them in the refrigerator till eating. Before eating take them out of the refrigerator to get to room temperature to enjoy their rich flavour.
Keep unripe plums in a fruit bowl at room temperature. They do ripen quickly, so keep an eye on them in the next day or two to make sure they do not over ripen. You can freeze plums but for best taste remove their stone pits first.
Fully ripened plums contain the most antioxidants and in fact when the fruits fully ripen, almost to the point of spoilage, their antioxidant levels actually increase. – University of Innsbruck in Austria Research.
Always wash plums in cold running water just before eating and eat fresh ripe plums with skin. The skin provides fibre and contains some anti-oxidant pigments.
Dried plums in general known as prunes are added to muffins, puddings and cakes.