Through drying, the water percentage in plums decreases to 35%, thus preserving the fruit for a longer period of time. The dried plum is beneficial for digestion and contains a host of antioxidants (even twice as much as any other dried fruit) – substances that inhibit the process of aging! That is why the prunes have become ever so popular.
The Serbian word for the fruit is šlјivа [shl-iva] and a surname Šlјivić derives from it, and a name of a village in Župa – Šlјivоvо.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
Prunes are obligatory on the Christmas Eve table, referring to the Christmas symbolism of the earthly fruits bestowed to the Incarnate Son of God.
As early as in 1897, the first export deal between Serbia and the USA was 30,000 tons of prunes, valued at $30m at that time. The deal rescued the Serbian budget. Although this country does not export not even a fraction of that amount of prunes today, (only about 2,000 t), there is a notable increase in export, now making ¾ of the total plum export of Serbia.