Plums fall into two basic categories: dessert and cooking, though there are many varieties of each. Choose firm, plump fruit that yields evenly to gentle pressure without being oversoft. Avoid shrivelled, split or hard fruit. Different varieties are available from late spring to early autumn. Although both dessert and cooking plums can be cooked, only dessert plums are sweet enough to be eaten raw. Plums can be eaten in pies, puddings, cakes, jams and desserts.
The kernels of the stones will give an almond flavour to any cooked fruit. Among the many varieties of plum are damson, greengage, bullace, cherry and Santa Rosa.