For weeks now I have been seeing examples of French plum cake, subscribed as I am to Alsatian web sites. It finally got to me.
The Damson plum, the oval, football shaped, purple plum is the one that comes to mind. Also the Mirabelle, that plum that we don’t see here. I just researched it and found that the Mirabelle grows in Lorraine and in the northern part of Alsace. It is a beautiful plum that ends up in many a pastry. The Damson plum is the one that I remember from my youth. It is also called an Italian plum and in French it is la prune de Damas. Damas is Damascus. In searching a little further, I found out that it is native to Great Britain and the legend is that the Romans brought it to Great Britain via Damascus, Syria. In any case, the plums most Americans think about are anything but these two I have mentioned.
Back to my recent experience of seeing this posted all over Facebook on the Alsatian websites. They look amazing but as an American, it really did not pique my fancy. After eating a slice of this cake, that we had for breakfast, I must stay that it is way better than anyone can imagine and I see why it is so often made in Europe. For one thing, apparently Damson plums freeze well, something you cannot say of most plums. Also, in baking, the flavor of the fruit changes and is enhanced. Judging from my breakfast, I have to say that I quite agree.
It just all makes me wonder, why is it so popular there and not here? What happened and why didn’t it catch on here. Clearly, in Germany and Europe, making pastries with these fruits is important.
Well, it doesn’t matter as I have seen the light!