Prunes, but not plums?

Why are prunes thought of as a natural laxative, but not plums? A prune is just a plum without as much water. Shouldn’t 1 prune = 1 plum for such purposes?

Yes, but you don’t usu. eat 1 prune alone to provide the laxative effect. Since it’s dried, it’s smaller, and you can eat more of them at a sitting, thus cramming more fiber, etc., down your digestive tract.


I’ve been seeing “dried plums” instead of “prunes”. I read somewhere that calling a dried plum a “prune” is incorrect for some botanical reason, but I’m cynical. Is it just a marketing ploy to make prunes sound more attractive by calling them “plums”? Or is there really a botanical difference in the fruits that are dried to make prunes, and the average plum?

It’s a marketing ploy. A good one, it seems:

And if you have nothing else to do this afternoon, check out their 10-page “History” section. A prune grower once imported 500 monkeys to pick plums. Guess what? It didn’t work–they ate them as fast as they could pick them.

I love the Internet. :smiley:

BTW, Johnny, the “dried plum growers” have special varieties of plums that produce better prunes, the way you have different kinds of apples, but they’re still all just “plums”, botanically speaking.