Updated June 1, 2014 – Ciruelas, or Mexican plums, are abundant during the month of June. If you drive through any of the towns in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, you will likely notice small bare trees with smooth and shiny egg-shaped fruit prolifically protruding from their branches. You can typically find green, yellow, red and purple varieties at markets and roadside stands in La Peñita, Rincón de Guayabitos, Sayulita and San Ignacio.
Ciruelas are bursting with juice. You can eat them like regular plums, skin and all, except for the large hard pit inside. In my opinion, they are less sweet than the plums we get in the United States and I would describe the flavor as more like a semi-bitter green grape. Each variety has a slightly different flavor profile ranging from sweet to acidic.
The locals use ciruelas in agua fresca, atole, paletas and ice cream. When green and not quite ripe, they are commonly eaten with a squeeze of lime and dash of salt or Tajin. They can also be boiled in water with salt and sugar, and then dried in the sun.
Go enjoy the ciruelas while they’re in season… you’ll be glad you did.
This ciruela tree is located in the Zona Hoteleria in Guayabitos. Its rich purple color is like the plums I am accustomed to seeing in the United States.
There are several trees growing on the west side of the highway in Ursulo Galvan, just north of Lo de Marcos. Although the fruit shown in this photo is green, there were several yellow ones as well, so I’m guessing this variety turns yellow when ripe.
These beautiful red and green ciruelas were being sold along the highway in San Ignacio, south of Sayulita.
To view more of what’s in season, click on the Flora & Fauna: Fruits & Vegetables category on the right sidebar.
by Allyson Williams
Updated June 1, 2014 – Originally published June 12, 2012
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