U.S. plum producer says 'consumers are in for a treat'

August 26 , 2014

Washington State-based Grant J. Hunt Company is expecting a bumper crop of good quality Empress plums this year, as the harvest gets underway a week early due to 'ideal' weather conditions. Empress Plum 3

Overall production of Empress plums is expected to be up by 20-25% for the company's exclusive Blue Goose label.

Marketing director Eric Patrick said this year's crop was looking like it could be one of the best ever.

"This is one of the cleanest crops of Empress plums I've ever seen. We are getting great size, and could potentially peak on the larger 2" plums," Patrick said in a release.

"The Milton-Freewater region has had ideal growing weather for the past couple of weeks with virtually no wind, so the fruit is really clean looking. Consumers are in for a treat."

Empress plums are large and egg-shaped with blueish purple skin and a freestone pit. They are said to be popular with the baking community as they turn into a thicker jam-like consistency when cooked.

The variety is only available for 4-6 weeks per year, and the company described them as a 'seasonal niche' with a loyal following in several regions of North America.

Photo: Grant J. Hunt Company