Monday, August 31, 2009

Pluot? Plum x Apricot =

Although pluots have been available commercially since the early 199o's, they remain a little known oddity to many Americans. Developed in 1989 by Floyd Zaiger, a brilliant world renowned California fruit breeder, pluots are an "interspecific" hybrid, a cross between a plum and an apricot. Zaiger employs a painstaking laborious hand pollination technique in his plant breeding; no genetic modification is used. There are over twenty five pluot varieties which range in color from deep purple to yellow or pale green; most of them are smooth skinned and resemble plums.

What's most important about the pluot is its outstanding flavor. Very sweet, dense, complex, and juicy, once you've had a taste you'll be back for more. Pluot season begins in early summer and continues until fall; pluots are among the last of the stone fruits still available at summer's end. Look for them in farmer's markets, small produce markets and natural food stores. Select fruit which is not too firm and slightly fragrant; it will continue to ripen at home. If you discover very ripe pluots, don't pass them by; they make the best eating of all. Take a bite and say thank you to Floyd Zaiger!