California Prunes provide a fresh, sweet, and smooth taste that is unique among prunes. Learn how global chefs, bakers, and chocolatiers are incorporating the delectable taste of California Prunes into global cuisine.
Chef/Culinary Educator with the Culinary Institute of America at Copia
California Prunes have come a long way in our culinary lexicon. This humble and hardworking fruit has become more than just a hand snack; they have become one of the most versatile ingredients that are simultaneously tasty, texturally enhancing and healthy. In pairing California Prunes with unusual ingredients, such as olives, miso and even anchovy, this versatile fruit becomes instantly savory and texturally “meaty” – an important leader in our efforts toward a plant-forward diet.
Chef, Baker, Author and Founder of Simply Good Food TV | UK Brand Ambassador for California Prunes
My cooking is all about big delicious flavours and great combinations… California Prunes are an incredible product, they’re versatile, they’re delicious, they’re nutritious, they can help you reduce fat and sugar (which I think is only a good thing) but still allow you to deliver great flavours and that’s what it’s all about – great cooking, great flavours, great nutritional value.
Chef/Owner Fresh Thymes Eatery
California Prunes are the most versatile of all dried fruits that can be used in a myriad of culinary applications. The prune’s versatility is due to its singular ability to incorporate a deep, rich flavor complexity and earthy umami qualities to bring out the best in recipes ranging from sweet to fermented, from espresso and cocoa to vinegar and tamari.
Paul A Young
World Renowned Chocolatier | UK Brand Ambassador for California Prunes
I am proud to say that I’m the only chocolatier in London that works in a truly artisanal way. We never add compounds, concentrates, essences, preservatives or additives to our chocolates, preferring to keep our unique blend of fine ingredients entirely pure and fresh. It is this pursuit of outstanding, first-class ingredients offering unrivalled quality that first led me to experiment with California Prunes more than three years ago. The climate and growing conditions, the incredible expertise of the Californian farmers, as well as the sophisticated harvesting techniques all point to California producing the best prunes in the world – a statement proven by the fact that more than 70 countries import California Prunes because of the legendary flavour and quality.
I’ve discovered that great things can be created using this incredibly versatile super fruit! Naturally, as someone who has an established reputation as a creative flavour alchemist, my initial interest lay in the intense, rich, entirely natural flavour and sweetness hit that could be achieved by the inclusion of California Prunes in a recipe. But as a professionally trained chef, I’m also interested in their ability to deliver improved texture and add moisture and in addition, because they are naturally free of fat and saturated fat, the important role they can play in reducing the fat content of any recipe in which they feature.
I’ve created a number of chocolates and baked goods that incorporate California Prunes and the results have always been outstanding. For me, this is a staple ingredient that any food professional should be using in their culinary creations, not just due to the amazing flavour/inherent sweetness and moistness combination that California Prunes can add, but also because of the clear health benefits associated with any natural ingredient which helps to cut down the fat.
TV Host and Author
My history with prunes began in my early childhood. My mom was very fond of prunes and she used to prepare many delicious and traditional Polish dishes with prunes such as pork or chuck roast stuffed with those fruits. Memories of those meals stayed with me until these days making California Prunes one of my favorite ingredients. Nowadays, when I run my own kitchen and have my own TV shows, I often use California Prunes in my culinary inspirations due to their amazing versatility. They are a great match not only for meat, as my mom used to cook them and what I still think is the best combination for the California prune; meat, herbs, and prunes, but also for oatmeal, sweet breakfast or healthy desserts. California Prunes give natural sweetness and something extra to delicacies. They make them healthy, tasty and extraordinary. Everything that I need in my dishes and I know my recipients will love.
Chef at Aruana Restaurant, Gault&Millau gastronomy guidebook “Young Talent” award winner and winner of the Wine & Food Noble Night competition – where he and his team were ranked the best team among 12 other competitors from the best restaurants in Poland
California Prunes are known for their culinary versatility and as such can be used widely in the kitchen. Not only in sweet dishes as many can assume. Prunes can be combined as well with salty dishes, what Polish traditional cuisine has already experienced. Prunes are strongly embedded in our original cuisine in dishes such as roasted meat with prunes, which we all know. If one is interested in starting to eat prunes, it can start with making a sauce with them, or adding them to breakfast. What I can recommend is to include California Prunes in homemade bread where this fruit suits perfectly.
Michelin Star Chef
California Prunes are a very versatile ingredient since they can be used both for sweet and salty recipes. It allows different combinations with salty elements with a pick of sourness, bitter taste and even spicy. The most important thing to understand is that with dried prunes it is possible to find a unique balance of tastes in different recipes.
Chocolatier and California Prune Brand Ambassador
We launched a partnership with California, in particular with the California Prune Board, consisting of about 800 producers. We met and Lily, an excellent prune chocolate, was born. It is a co-branding activity because each product supports each other in promotion. True excellence that marries in one product.
Using fruit normally involves boiling it down to jam-like consistency. Prune purée, however, eliminates the need for such labor, with that purée excelling in ganache, pastry dough, and other fine culinary creations. For “Chocolat Aux Pruneaux,” we blend prune purée and chopped prune fruit into a ganache – yet another inventive step in the quest to maximize prune texture and taste alike.
Purée is suitable for a wide spectrum of applications besides mixing it into a dough and it expands the flavor range.
Someone who makes French pastries might be surprised. ‘Madeleines without butter?’ It was the first time I myself had ever used prune purée for cakes. But when you actually try using it, the result is so moist and delicious. I felt that depending on the type of cake, it is a possible option as a substitute for butter. It’s an ingredient that’s good for you too, so it’d be worth experimenting with new ways to make things with it.
This brainchild of Chef Fujimori may be described as downsized and darling prune bread, aptly christened Petit (small for the size) Pave (stone pavement for the shape) Pruneaux (prunes for the ingredients). The result is an enriched take on bread, with prune purée mobilized in place of butter for mixing with milk and eggs. The tender sweetness not only complements the saltiness in rillettes, prosciutto, cheese, and other foods, but also furnishes an outstanding partner for a broad range of dining genres. We also recommend pairing this bread with wine or other adult beverages of choice.
California Prunes are celebrated for both abounding in nutrients and offering a sensuous taste. While widely utilized as an ingredient for pound cake and other Western-style pastries, the fruit also musters major appeal for its ability to enhance the caliber of Japanese confectioneries.