If you love plums, you might be wondering whether there are any other fruits that look or taste like these juicy mouthfuls. There’s a surprising amount of overlap among fruits, so let’s find out more about plums.
Quite a few fruits look and taste like plums, including peaches, nectarines, pluots, dates, apricots, and sometimes cherries. Several of these will stand in for plums in a recipe, or can be eaten in the place of plums.
In this article, we’ll explore which fruits look like plums, and cover which ones taste like plums. If you’ve got a recipe you need to use substitutes for, you should check out the list below!
Which Fruits Look Like Plums?
Plums have quite a generic sort of appearance, and many fruits look like them. This is aided by the fact that there are many kinds of plums, so they have quite varied appearances. A few fruits that look similar to plums include:
These fruits all have quite a lot in common with the appearance of a plum, so let’s look at them more closely.
A peach looks pretty similar to most plums. These rounded fruits are brightly colored and they contain stones in the centers, just like peaches do. They have juicy flesh that is soft and succulent to bite into, just like a plum’s flesh.
If you cut a peach open, you’ll find that it is lighter inside than outside, and has a large stone in the center. This is very much like a plum’s appearance. Like plums, peaches also come in a few different varieties, so you may find more similarities in some kinds than others.
Related to peaches, it’s no surprise that a nectarine can also look quite similar to a plum. They also contain the large, central stone, the soft flesh, and the juiciness. Their flesh is firmer than a peach’s, which makes them closer to plums in terms of texture.
However, they lack the smooth skin of a plum, so the outside isn’t as similar. They also tend to be more orange than plums. Even with those differences in mind, they are pretty similar, and they can be harvested from fruit trees in the same way that plums can.
If you have never heard of pluots, you aren’t alone, but these are very like plums – partly because they are a hybrid that incorporates plums. Pluots are a mix between plums and apricots, but they have taken more characteristics from the plum than the apricot, and therefore they look closer to a plum.
Their skins are smooth and slightly red, and they again have a central stone.
Most of us are used to seeing dates when they are dried, rather than fresh, but they can look quite a lot like golden plums. They are rich yellow, and grow in clusters on the branches of trees. In general, they are longer and thinner than most kinds of plums.
They do still have a central pit, but they aren’t as juicy if you cut them open, and their flesh has a drier appearance.
Apricots look like bright red plums, but they are fuzzier on the outside, so they lack the shine of plum skin. They are orange and rounded and have large, dark pits in the centers.
Which Fruits Taste Like Plums?
You might be more interested in flavor than appearance, especially if you are trying to replace some plums in a recipe you’re making. Fortunately, you have quite a few options here too, including:
That’s a fair variety to choose from, so let’s explore them.
The flavor of plums can be quite varied depending on the type you choose and how ripe they are, and if you are looking to replicate one of the tarter varieties, cherries might be a great option. They are sweet, but they have more complexity than some of the stone fruits, which makes them replace plums pretty well.
Apricots can be very sweet if you eat them when they are ripe, but in the stages just before ripeness, they can mimic the tartness of a plum pretty well. The flavor is quite similar to plums, although the fuzzy skin and grainier texture do cause slight problems with using these as plum replacements in some cases.
Apricot jam is a great option, however, and you may be able to make replacements for plum sauces with these bright orange fruits.
If you are trying to replicate the texture of a plum, a mango’s somewhat stringy flesh is a good starting point, and these can have a sweet-sour flavor as well. Mangoes can taste surprisingly close to plums once you have got the thick skin off them, so consider these in your recipes or fruit salads instead.
We already mentioned pluots as looking similar to plums, which isn’t surprising given that they contain plum genetics. If you can get them, these are probably one of the best substitutes in terms of flavor, too, because they taste more like a plum than they do an apricot.
In fact, you may not be able to tell the difference if you cook them into a recipe. Pluots may not be available in your local area, but it’s worth looking out for them.
Figs are generally too toffee-like to make a good substitute for plums, but in some slow-cooked dishes, they can be perfect. For example, if you are making a beef brisket and you want a rich, plum sauce to sweeten it, a fig sauce will work very well too. Make sure you cook them for long enough to bring out the sweetness.
There are quite a few other stone fruits that look like plums, especially because plums come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. A lot also taste like plums, so if you need to make a substitution, you can do so easily in most cases!