I didn’t know beach plums were so special until I read more about them. Maybe someday I will find a secret beach plum patch!
Beach plums are a coveted fruit that grows wild near the Atlantic coast. Native to that region, they can be found near dunes, along the road and in parking lots, and are a good source of nectar and pollen for bees. Residents who know where to find these plants usually keep their location a secret and deal with such picking hazards as brambles, ticks, and poison ivy. People typically make jelly from the red, purple, and green fruit, but the fruit is also used in sauces, chutneys and beach plum brandy. The amount of fruit to be harvested is unpredictable from year to year, which is why they are not mass produced. Although their taste varies slightly from bush to bush, the flavor of beach plums has been described as sweet and tart.
Mike Chesla speaks about his appreciation for the opportunity to pick wild fruit as a break from his busy life: “We often engage nature as something visual, something you look at. But this is encountering it on a whole different level. You’re ingesting it. It becomes part of you.’’