(Japanese) plum / apricot / 梅

As not an English speaker, nor a westerner, I might not know what a plum is, nor what’s difference between plum, apricot, peach, prune, 梅 (うめ), すもも, プラム.

I am interested in the original content logic. (Was there a content update about this before? Message from officials? Another word is, Japanese “apricot”?)

Also, there was a discussion here – 梅 Is there another word for non-Japanese plums?

I am also interested in the botanical differences. Probably, looks regarding different parts of the plant.

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The scientific name of the 梅 is Prunus mume.

Plums cultivated in the US are usually hybrids of Prunus salicina with Prunus simonii and Prunus cerasifera. Just to confuse everyone, these are often called “Japanese plums,” although they actually originate in China.

European plums and dried plums (prunes) are usually Prunus domestica.

Apricots in the US and Europe are usually Prunus armeniaca. Peaches are Prunus persica, though they were first domesticated in China.

As the names suggest, all of these are pretty closely related and look pretty similar to someone who isn’t an orchard keeper or other expert. Differences have to do with color, taste, texture, how easy the seed is to remove, shelf life, frost tolerance, etc.

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Not sure about すもも (different plum) and プラム (sweet plum) according to Japanese natives’ notion?

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When I talked to a Japanese person about this, they called the Japanese plum 梅 and the western plumプラム. We didn’t get further than that :sweat_smile:

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Thanks. Correct me if I am wrong, but it is easier for me to imagine Umeboshi and dried prunes. I barely know about any plum at all, not to mention apricot, in fact.

Umeboshi (Pickled ume)

Umeboshi

Dried Chinese plum (also ume)

Hoshiume

Dried prunes (a kind of プラム)

Dried prunes

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Ah okay. I’m not a native English speaker either, so I might make errors on the plum vs. prune business as well :sweat_smile:

Anyways, just to give you a quick rundown:

What I think is called “plum” (I think it’s called Prunus domestica subsp. italica):

These are perfectly round and very sweet, and people usually eat them just as they come.

What I think is called “prune” (I think it’s Prunus domestica subsp. domestica):

They are egg-shaped or oval, a bit smaller than the others, their skin is firmer and the flesh might not get as sweet. There are people who eat them raw, but in Germany it’s very common to use them in cooking or baking, like in a sauce for strong meat, or in cakes:

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) is very different from these two, the flesh is much softer, the skin is hairy, and it has a very sweet and aromatic taste:

Then there is something particular which we call Mirabelle (Prunus domestica subsp. syriaca) in German, technically it’s also a kind of plum but much sweeter and softer (I actually think it tastes more like apricot while the rest, i.e. skin or seed, is like plum):

And I think that’s about it from my Western perspective. :blush:

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The other western fruit name in the OP’s list is the peach:

Larger than an apricot, redder, with a fuzzy skin; very sweet and juicy if eaten when perfectly ripe. Wikipedia suggests this is the same as the Japanese もも.

The nectarine is a subtype of peach with a smooth skin more like that of a plum.

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WOAH THAT’S WHAT THE PEACH PIT LOOKS LIKE??

It’s sick! Makes me think of an organ I love it, gnarly…

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Are you familiar with this Internet debacle? Sounds like it might be up your alley lol

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ah tumblr, I’ve not seen this one before but that website is one I make my home in so I am Very Familiar with this sort of thing

My take is that for most people, stuff like pommegranets or peaches don’t look like gore (or if they do, it’s not a trauma-based thing so they’ll just go ‘EW!’ and scroll past) so there’s no reason to tag unless it’s deliberately set up to resemble something disturbing
However if you have a friend/mutual who has made it known they are specifically bothered by fruit-gore (and you aren’t like… a blog dedicated to fruit gore specifically)
it wouldn’t be the wildest thing to just add a ‘gore’/‘fruit gore’ tag so they can block those posts + still interact with you

But I mean, the above post aside, fruits are plant ovaries
(well plant reproduction is complicated and trying to put it in human terms is arbritary and only mixes things up)
so saying ‘this part of a plant reminds me of an organ’ isn’t a million miles away from all sense and logic

But also maybe my opinion should not be trusted because I’m a biology student and we all seem to have… less than normal takes on organs and organisms
(my uni has a parasitology department, and multiple professors have willingly let botflies grow in their skin as a rite of passage, then kept it in formaldehyde, others have given themselves intestinal parasites to test if their anti-parasitic medicine worked)

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All of these grow in my area. They are things that I grew up eating.

The descriptions above do the variations some credit. It would hard to be able to memorize the differences without actually experiencing the fruits though.
A couple of little factiods:

  1. Aside from else, plum blossoms in specific mean something in Japan. They are one of the very first early blossoms, long before cherry. The blossoms arise in classic poetry.
  2. The plum wine is a thing too. I am not a drinker, but the wine is available in the US. Ryokan, the monk poet, wrote about getting drunk on plum wine.
  3. Umeboshi must be experienced.
  4. Peaches have a fuzzy textured skin that distinguishes them from other members of the family.
  5. Dried plums apricots are distinctly different. Dried prunes are a classic relief from constipation, and are frequently eaten daily for that reason.
  6. By coincidence, I have been thinking about this family of trees, and I just ordered two native plum tree seedlings for my garden yesterday. The native wild plums are in decline in North America. They are super yummy, and require no care.
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This mostly matches my American, native-English-speaker perspective. The one noteworthy difference is that I think of prunes as dried plums. I would never use “prune” to refer to a fresh fruit.

In California we also had apriums and pluots, which refer to various hybrids of apricots and plums, but they aren’t very common.

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Interesting, thanks for filling me in! The German word for both is the same, that is “Pflaume” (well the one used in baking also has a more specific name, that is “Zwetschge”, to complicate matters somewhat) but for the dried thing we simply add another word that means “dried” basically. Common words are Trockenpflaume, Dörrpflaume, Backpflaume.

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Thank you to all the people who added pictures to the thread because I was too lazy.

But now I’m hungry, and it’s January in the Pacific Northwest, and fresh peaches won’t be available for months. sob

(Unlike, say, apples, the shelf life of a ripe peach is measured in hours. They don’t travel well at all.)

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Serves you right! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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The 梅 Japanese plums are weird to me, since I’m used to both European plums and apricots.


The fresh ones look exactly like apricots to me, which makes me wonder why anyone looking at it would decide “Yeah, that’s definitely a plum”

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Last year’s 梅酒 is maturing nicely. Ume is far more magically with all its variety. To me ume = ume just like yuzu isn’t a ‘japanese lemon’ or something like that. Also got some homemade はちみつ梅干し recently but haven’t tried yet (didn’t make it myself), any of these I can just eat all day long. I like candy, ふりかけ or anything related to ume really :yum: Every SRS review should come with a sample and no English meaning testing required.

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