Even if the golden "mirabelle" plum is not bigger than a golf ball, it has already won, years ago, the reputation of the unmistakable symbol of the French region Lorraine. Located at the three-borders-area (Luxembourg-Germany-France) this northeast region of France with its capital city Metz is also the biggest producer of the aromatic plums. 80% of the whole world production takes place here – we are talking of some 15,000 tonnes annually! Holy fruit paradise…
You might start wondering what they are doing with all these plumes, right? This tiny fruit has a very versatile use. It is of course the main ingredient for making the famous local gourmet food (for the locals) and souvenirs (for the visitors): fruit jam (la confiture de mirabelles), plum brandy (eau de vie de mirabelle) and the not-really-transportable, but to-be-eaten-on-the-spot (or, if available, just-right-out-of-the-oven) queen of all pies: la tarte aux mirabelles.
Why queen of the pies? Because it's not just another pie with fruit inside, it's a real visual/ gastronomic/taste-buds-using masterpiece! The edges of the pies are the only way for you to know that there is something else on the plate other than fruit. The fresh mirabelle plums are cut in two and gorgeously arranged on the top. Nothing else, the rest of the work is for the oven: to turn some of the fruit sugar into a yummy caramel crust. Some of the best tarte aux mirabelles I have tried looked so beautiful that one does not want to start cutting them.
But there is much more in Moselle/lorraine than mirabelle-prunes, have a look below for a colourful like a rainbow harvest in the garden as well as for some unusual and unexpected encounters...And in case you wonder: my first "tarte" with damson plums tasted A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! thanks for asking;-)
WISHING you all a good weekend with these perfectly imperfect potatoes, which make me smile every time I look at the picture:-)