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PLUM (PRUNUS DOMESTICA)

Plums (Turkish: erik) were known to the early Turks since very early times. In the 11th century, the Central Asian Turks called all the drupe-type fruits such as peaches, apricots and plums erük. The “yellow erük” was the apricot, the “fuzzy erük” was the peach, and the “black erük” was the plum. In Turkey plums thrive everywhere except for the high mountain meadows and the very hot and dry areas of Southeast Anatolia. Many different varieties are grown in Turkey, the most common being red plums, greengages (eaten while crisp and not yet ripe) and prune plums.  Plums are believed to be native to Anatolia and spread from there to the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea region. They have adapted to other regions as a result of migrations and wars. Another species of plum, Prunus institia, is native to the region around Damascus. There are over two thousand different varieties of plums in the world, with around two hundred growing in Turkey.

Reference:  Meyve Kitabı (Τhe Fruit Book, Emine Gürsoy Naskali, Dilek Herkmen, eds.), Istanbul 2006.

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