Besides being baked into tarts, stewed into jam and stuffed into pork roast, they are a fruit with symbolic chops. They are thought to be a sign of good omen. They have also—ironically—signified both purity and fertility.
The English language is lousy with plums in poems and sayings; they’ve been romanticized about and sexed up. (See the plum apology by William Carlos Williams and you’ll know what I mean.) And yet, they have a stone fruit stepsister that is vilified as much as the plum is revered: the prune.
Where plums got purity and hope, prunes got constipation. Where plums got sex, prunes got nursing homes. But things are about to change for the prune. Refer to it as a dried plum, if you must. Say prune with a French accent if it pleases you. However you slice it, the prune, my friend, is about to be reborn.
Prunes—from here on out—can be used as inspiration for how to eat and live. Because what matters in the kitchen (and in life) is what something is, not what it is called. This blog will touch upon the origins of food and the joys of cooking, but it will also be simple and honest and, with any luck, offer a little comfort when the pot of life boils over.