Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves - Serbia
The thorny plum is an old Balkan plum variety that has been documented in the area for centuries. It is resistant to drought and disease, and the fruit matures at the end of September. The thorny plum tree is medium to tall in height. The fruit is round with a diameter of up to 4 cm, with a dark, hard skin that has a characteristic thin layer like ash on the surface. The flesh is dark blue and quite sweet. The seed is small. Fruit both eaten fresh and is suitable for all types of processing: drying, baking, and in jams, compotes and brandy. These plums may be used as the filling for the typical gomboce, which consists of a potato-based dough shaped into balls and filled with medium-hard plums. The balls are boiled for fifteen minutes, then served with a toping of fried breadcrumbs and sugar. The history of plum growing in Serbia stretches through the centuries, especially in the village of Beška. Even by 2014, this variety was quite common in the Beška area of Srem County in northern central Serbia, but only small, isolated orchards still hide the thorny plum mixed in with other varieties. There were an estimated 60, but no exact record of the annual production. The thorny plum is mainly used among small, rural households that often mix the variety in with other plums. In general, this variety is being replaced by varieties that produce larger sized fruits, including the Čačanka, Stanley and Early Beauty. However, those who have thorny plum seedlings are continuing their production to ensure that it is still planted locally.