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Are Agen plums the same as Victoria plums?


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Just curious as I was given a large quantity of Agens and Mirabelles today.

I separated them because the Agens were very large and very sweet and it seemed a shame to cook them.

I stewed the Mirabelles gently as it wasn't the weather to be stirring a pot of hot jam.  One of the things I don't like about jam-making is that you always have to do it when the weather if hot and the fruit always arrive in gluts.

I know you could freeze the fruit and make the jam later in the year but I never seem to get round to doing it once they are bagged up in the freezer.

Although I am not overly keen on desserts, I shall look forward to some plum tarts très bientot.

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I didn't know there was any such thing as an Agen plum. I thought pruneaux d'Agen came from prunes d'Ente. And I also thought that they were a unique variety, hence the 'status' of pruneaux d'Agen, rather than being the same as any other plum.

I might be mistaken, though.
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I am not sure, hence the question!

The lady who gave them to me isn't what you'd call a close friend but we see each other a couple of times a week.  She rang and asked whether I'd like some prunes, some mirabelles.

She brought them in a big bucket and she said they were agens and mirabelles (she's French btw) but perhaps she called them by a name that she thought I'd understand!

They looked like Victoria plums but the taste was far superior; they were very sweet and parfumées.


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Mint, I think you will find that they are called prune d'Agen 'cos they come from that region.  The family holiday home we have near Duras has a prune d'Agen tree which is very old, and keeps almost dying and returning again (phew!) and the farms around also have loads of trees of them.  They are the most delicious plums and really the only ones I eat much as I find the other types of plums too sour.

One year we had a glut during our holiday and watched them falling from the tree whilst it was gently drizzling (it was one of those summers!), and said to each other whilst sitting on the veranda - I went last time - your turn now to pick them up!  They were jammed as there were far too many to eat before we left and the jam came home with us!

These are the only plums I can make jam our of (in fact the only fruit out of any I have tried), they need no sugar, or very little, gel together perfectly, and I'm not even sure whether I can remember whether they need pectin or not - I possibly used sugar with pectin in it at the time.

As it's about 20 years ago now, I cannot honestly remember all the details.

They are rather delicious eaten raw as well!!

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The prune d'ente were first discovered by the monks at the abbey at Clairac, a small town about 40kms from Agen. At the time of the crusades they crossed other varieties to come up with the prune d'ente. To answer your question Mint - no they are not the same. We have a number of prune d'ente trees in our garden.
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