2020 55¢ Fruits and Vegetables – Black and Red Plums
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 17, 2020
First Day City: Charleston, WV
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 200,000,000
Plums were one of the first domesticated fruits and have been found at ancient archaeological sites along with olives, grapes, and figs.
Today, plums come in a variety of different types. Some are sweet while others are more tart, and their colors can range from black to yellow. These fruits may be round or ovular and usually have a white film on the skin known as “wax bloom.” Plum trees flower in the early spring and begin growing fruit after 80 days of warm temperatures. In a good harvest year, about 50 percent of flowers become fruit. When the weather is too dry, underdeveloped buds fall from the tree before getting a chance to become fruit. It it’s too wet, the fruit may develop a fungus, which will ruin it.
Many types of plum are eaten fresh, as a snack, while other varieties are most commonly used in cooking. One popular recipe using plums is plum cake. Plum cake may be made with fresh plums or, more often, dried fruit. These cakes were popular in the American colonies. They were often baked in large quantities as “muster cakes” for men called to military service before the Revolutionary War. After America gained independence, women baked plum cakes to encourage men to attend town meetings and elections, earning them the new nickname “election cakes.” Who knew this common fruit had such an interesting history?!