There is no better summertime treat than fresh fruit, and believe me, this time of year, I hoard as much of it as I possibly can. Whether it be going to farmer’s markets, perusing the aisles of my local grocery store, or going to a pick-your-own farm, I love to have my old time favorites on hand (pineapple, mangoes, and watermelon), but this summer, I’ve gotten a bit adventurous.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting my mom when she plopped these strange looking plum-like fruits on the table. They were a beautiful, yellow mottled color and sort of reminded me of what I would imagine a dinosaur egg would look like. Mom told me that they were a new variety of fruit called pluots.
Hybrid fruit? Huh? New variety? Is that even…allowed? They sound like they are from a different planet. Or worse, genetically modified – nooooo!
Soon, I started doing my own research. About twenty years ago, some farmers in California started cross-breeding apricots and plums to create a new variety of fruit, and hence, the pluots, plumcots, apriums and apriplums were born. (Some cultures even get plumcots and apriplums naturally if their trees cross pollinate.) These fruits are not genetically modified (phew), and just like any new variety of pear or apple, are created with the purpose of utilizing specific features of both parent fruits. They are a considered part of the “prunus” species that are also called interspecific (or IS) plums. Whereas plumcots and apriplums are first-generation hybrids between a plum parent and an apricot, pluots and apriums are later-generations.
As you can see, they have the smooth exterior of a plum, but the inside is a lighter and fleshier. They have a pit, and they taste like a juicer, more succulent apricot.
Their taste and texture make them a really great addition to summertime recipes as well. Here are some of the most interesting ideas I found via Bon Appetit magazine.
4 Quick Recipes for Pluots . . .
Cut pluots into wedges, then proceed to:
- Wrap with prosciutto; sprinkle with ground black pepper for an easy starter.
- Layer with sliced mozzarella, fresh mint leaves, olive oil, salt, and pepper for a takeoff on insalata caprese.
- Toss with peaches, melon, lime juice, and honey for a summer fruit salad.
- Soak in sweet wine for an hour; serve over vanilla ice cream for dessert.