From sweet to salty. As a snack, antipasto, ingredient of a roast or sauce. In salads or with pork and fish. These are some of the options provided by one of the most multifaceted foods to put on the table for diners.
More than 7,000 years ago, prunes began to be produced in the world, thanks to the irrigation produced between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in ancient Mesopotamia, but despite being ancient, the product never ceases to amaze us with new uses and customs. in the XXI century.
It is an event of gastronomic versatility or ductility that seems not to stop in time and in different corners of the planet.
Present in a Polish dessert dipped in chocolate. As a filling alongside bacon in a typical English dish with hasselback potatoes. Or in a Mexican salad with nachos and dried plantains. Three of the dozens of versions in which we can eat this product: together with the sweet and the salty; as the protagonist or companion to multiple appetizers, and desserts. As a snack, antipasto, ingredient of a roast or sauce. Along with pigs and fish. And, of course, as a good companion for those who embrace vegetarian and vegan trends.
For chef Jorge Ortega, business consultant and executive director of the Chilean Gastronomic Federation (FEGACH), “this mixture of sweetness and acidity allows the prunes that special vocation to fulfill that ‘multifaceted’ role, which is appreciated in the gastronomic world, often being able to transform a preparation and become the key ingredient”, he points out.
Likewise, he says, it constitutes a ‘challenge’, because as it is not visually attractive, it requires a special art in its presentation and, on the other hand, it requires knowledge to offer it at its most delicious, freshest point, avoiding its later stage of dryness or wilting.
It is an ideal product or companion, he says. It goes wonderfully with some birds such as chicken, turkey or duck, also with lamb, or fish such as hake or salmon. Don’t rule out prune sauce for pork and chicken. In confectionery it can be a good companion to cakes, or to a dessert such as fruit salad with oranges. And its use in sourdough breads is no longer new.
In recent months, the specialist has been working together with Chileprunes on new possibilities offered by prunes, experimenting, testing and tasting innovations and delicacies such as those mentioned at the beginning of this article, to which one could also add, among others, a stuffed pig with prunes, and which is very popular in Germany and Asia.
Said work will soon be seen in a series of videos for Social Networks such as Youtube, or extracting it from the Chileprunes website, says its executive director, Pedro Acuña.
Jorge Ortega does not rule out that other versions of this product may be offered in the short term, which, in parentheses, provides multiple health benefits. He mentions, for example, a tea flavored with prunes, an energy drink, or powdered prunes as a condiment for the most diverse sweet and savory dishes. He does not rule out that in drinks and alcohols it is already being used for sophisticated cocktails; “Furthermore, as a companion to a vegan dish, it appears to be ideal”.
Some additional recommendations: when buying prunes, check that they are black and shiny, soft and fleshy. With or without bone, they must be stored in a closed glass jar, in a cool and dry place, although in the refrigerator it is where they can be best stored. So you can have them at hand, and transform this ancient and versatile product into something new and current, like chicken with prunes and chard bathed in white wine.