The very short season of the mirabelle plum coincides with the end of summer. This small prune has a particularity: it belongs to the large Prunus Domestica family, which brings together all kinds of plums, but is mainly grown in Lorraine. Indeed, between 70% and 90% of its global production takes place in the region! Mirabelle plums are so iconic in the region that a festival is dedicated to them every year in late August in Metz. A specific "mirabelle de Lorraine" label has even been put in place to protect the geographical origin of this small golden fruit. But do you really know the virtues of this plum from Lorraine?
The mirabelle plum will give you the boost you need to face going back to school or work. It contains, for example, ascorbic acid, or vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant is essential for strengthening the immune system (1) and combating oxidative stress (2). The provitamin A in mirabelle plums also help to protect your body's cells: a regular intake of this type of flavonoid acid (3) limits the risk of chronic cellular degeneration (4), such as AMD. Mirabelle plums are also particularly rich in insoluble fibres that stimulate and protect the intestinal flora. Regularly consuming this type of fibre facilitates the transit while helping to stabilise the level of glucose in the blood, which implies lower levels of "bad cholesterol" in the blood (5)(6). The mirabelle plum's active ingredients are therefore beneficial to your cardiovascular health. Finally, the mirabelle plum is the perfect fruit for a delicious and light snack: a dozen of these small fruits only contain about fifty calories. You can enjoy them without feeling guilty if you're a bit hungry, plus they fill you up quickly: they contain an exceptional level of pectin, a molecule which is directly responsible for making people feel full (7).
How to store and taste table mirabelles ?
Mirabelle plums are very easy to prepare and enjoy. This fruit is very sweet and therefore tasty "au naturel" when it is ripe and its skin takes on a beautiful golden colour. As it is more convenient to eat mirabelle plum without peeling them, in this case it is recommended to choose fruits from organic farming to limit the ingestion of chemicals, which are mainly retained in the skin of fruits and vegetables. The mirabelle plum is traditionally cooked in a dessert called clafoutis. You can make a light version of it by only adding a small amount of sugar. For a lighter and original recipe, you can combine mirabelle plums with lemon and cinnamon to make delicious almond milk smoothies. The delicate and elegant flavour of the mirabelle plum can also be used simply in a salad, with other seasonal fruits such as peaches, other varieties of plums and even blackberries. Feel free to combine mirabelle plums with savoury flavours: they'll add a sophisticated touch to your grilled meats or sauces. You can also make small skewers with dry cheese and mirabelle plums for a sweet and savoury aperitif snack which is full of colour and vitamins!
References : (1) Khaw KT, Bingham S, Welch A, et al. Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in menand women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study. (2) Nakatani N, Kayano S, Kikuzaki H, et al. Identification, quantitative determination, and antioxidative activities of chlorogenic acid isomers in prune (Prunus domestica L. ). J Agric Food Chem 2000 Nov;48(11):5512-6. 2000. PMID:13580. (3) Lucarini M, Lanzi S, D'Evoli L et al. Intake of vitamin A and carotenoids from the Italian population--results of an Italian total diet study. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2006 May;76(3):103-9. 2006. (4) Willcox JK, Ash SL, Catignani GL. Antioxidants and prevention of chronic disease. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2004;44(4):275-95. (5) Coats AJ. The potential role of soluble fibre in the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia. Postgrad Med J 1998 July;74(873):391-4. (6) Afssa, 2002. Les fibres alimentaires : définitions, méthodes de dosage, allégations nutritionnelles (7) Popov, S. V., Ovodova, R. G., Golovchenko, V. V., Khramova, D. S., Markov, P. A., Smirnov, V. V., ... & Ovodov, Y. S. (2014). Pectic polysaccharides of the fresh plum Prunus domestica L. isolated with a simulated gastric fluid and their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. Food chemistry, 143, 106-113.