I love plums. Juicy, sweet, floral. Their soft skins are are tinged with acidity. Their character is somewhere between the headiness of a pear and the muskiness of a melon, with a rich juice that brings to mind fresh cherries. Plums have a hint of concentrated fruit flavor. There is a reason they were made into intense, chewy prunes. The plum has potential. It can be eaten straight out of hand and the experience sparks a wealth of ideas: from pairing them with beets to exploring them with blood sausage. The only caveat is that they need to be perfectly ripe, firm--not flabby, bursting with juice, and sweet enough to balance the sharp bite of the skins. There's nothing worse than a mealy plum. They are the mushy lobster tail of stone fruits. But a perfectly ripe, succulent, plum is an indulgence to be savored slowly.