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Monday, July 6, 2015

Mirabelle Plums

Our Mirabellier in Seine-et-Marne in early July 2014, about 3-4 weeks before harvesting

Mirabelle plums are one of those French products that receives comparatively little attention abroad with comparison to other fruit trees. Thought to have been brought to France during the Crusades, these fruit trees are common in the northeastern parts of France, especially in the region of Lorraine. Lorraine alone produces 80% of the world's Mirabelle plums!

The fruits are typically harvested in August, though last year (2014), due to a particularly warm spring, we began eating them in late July. To remove them from the tree, one simply places a tarp on the ground and shakes them from the branches! 

 About 3 weeks later. Almost ready...

The Mirabelle plum is delicious when eaten directly off the tree, or when used in desserts such as Tarte aux Mirabelles, but 90% of the Mirabelles are used to produce jams or brandy, simply called Mirabelle. Though some is produced and sold commercially, the plum brandy is usually made at home, or gifted from friends, neighbors, or relatives. Everyone who makes Mirabelle has a different recipe and while some can be relatively mild in taste (depends on the fruit and how much sugar is added to the eau-de-vie), some can certainly show off their might!


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