Pluots, also known as interspecific plums, are a hybrid fruit that have both the sweet taste of plums and the juicy tartness of apricots. The result is a perfect balance of flavors that make for an incredibly delicious and healthy snack. But what is a pluot and how did it come to be?
A pluot is the result of hybridizing the two stone fruits – plums and apricots – over the last century. The first pluots, or interspecific plums, were created in the early 1980s by California horticulturalist Floyd Zaiger. By using careful hand-pollination techniques, Zaiger was able to manipulate the genetic makeup of the two fruits to create something entirely new and unique. A new breed with multiple characteristics of both its parent fruits: sweet, tangy, and juicy.
The main difference between pluots and other hybrid fruits is that they contain more plum genes than apricot genes. Pluots are mostly plum, with only 20-30% of their genes coming from the apricot. This is where the flavor comes from. As the apricot genes produce a tart and juicy texture, the plum genes bring out the sweet, deliciously sugary taste.
There are several varieties of pluots, and each type can vary in taste and genetic makeup. Some are sweeter, while others are more tart. The most popular variety is the Dapple Dandy Pluot, also known as the "Candy Jewel." This type of pluot is a stunning red-purple hue and has a sweet flavor, similar to that of honey and nectarines. Other varieties include the Flavor King Pluot, the Flavor Grenade Pluot, and the Red Pearl Pluot.
Pluots can be used in many different recipes, such as pies, tarts, and jams. Pluots are often added to salads and smoothies, or cooked into compotes, sauces, and chutneys. And of course, there's nothing like biting into a fresh, juicy pluot – it can be just like eating candy!
When purchasing pluots, look for ones that are firm and heavy for their size, with smooth skin and no blemishes. The color of the flesh can vary from a dark purple to a pale yellow, and the taste should be sweet with little to no tartness.
In addition to being incredibly tasty, pluots offer several health benefits. They contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, fiber, and minerals like magnesium and calcium. Pluots also contain powerful antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radicals and support good health.
So, if you’re looking for an easy way to inject sweetness into your diet and get a boost of vitamins and minerals, try snacking on pluots. This unique hybrid fruit is an ideal summertime treat that is fun and delicious. Plus, you can feel great knowing that the health benefits come with it!