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I can understand why plums are often included in still life paintings. They are very beautiful.

For the next few weeks, plums will grace the tables of our local fruit store and our dining table. These plums are not the shiny, tight-skinned, full-to-bursting black globes I used to eat in the US.

These are yellow-green with blushes of pink, coated in a layer of fine white dust. Others are the color of a bruise, spreading purple with flesh tones underneath and the same layer of white powder that vanishes under your fingertips.

These are the plums of 17th century Dutch painters who paid such particular attention to detail--the fly on the pear, the lizard on the wall, the frost on the plum.

They are the plums of my dinner.

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