Carried from China along the Silk Road, plum trees flourished all over the Mediterranean basin under the aegis of the Greeks and Romans. The fruits were dried in the sun or in bakers' ovens, depending on the region, transforming them into prunes.
It was only in the 12th century that, upon their return from the 3rd Crusade, the Benedictine monks of the Abbaye de Clairac in the Lot Valley (between Agen and Villeneuve) were inspired to graft the new Damas plums from Syria onto the local varieties. This was the birth of a new variety of plum, known as the Prune d'Ente (from the Old French 'enter', meaning to graft).
Countries of origin
All the prunes come from Prune d'Ente variety for its high qualities. The most important productions are California (125 000 tons / year), followed by Chili (45 000 T / year), France with the famous Agen dried prunes (45 000 T / year), Argentina, Serbia, Australia, Italy and South Africa (900 T / year).
Varieties and grades
To be considered as a dried fruit, humidity must be less than 3%.
Sizing: number of whole dried prunes for 500g - France / USA
Giants (géants): 33/44 / Extra large: Less than 43
Very large (très gros): 44/55 / Large: Less than 53
Large (gros): 55/66 / Medium: Less than 67
Medium (moyens): 66/77 / Small: Less than 85.
Photo: ID 48178302 / dionisvera / MSCOMM
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