Sugar plums are one of those items that are common in Christmas carols and stories and yet are basically unknown to modern revelers. (Other examples: wassail, yule, and figgy pudding. Furthermore, I’ve never seen mistletoe before, and I just saw real holly for the first time a few weeks ago, at the farmers’ market. I got excited, grabbed the leaves, and stabbed myself.)
My dictionary defines a sugar plum as a small ball of candy, and nothing more. There are not necessarily any plums in sugar plums. The word “plum” is associated with dried fruit, and good modern dictionaries still give one of the many meanings of “plum” as “a raisin.” The most common manifestation of sugar plums is … Continue reading.