Pluots are a unique fruit within the Soft Fruit category and have gained in popularity with each passing year. Like the Plumcots that came before them, Pluots are a special hybrid of plums and apricots developed over the course of years of research. First brought to market 30 years ago in 1989, the Pluot has become a staple in the Summer fruit lineup for their sweet flavor, juicy content and easy out of hand eating.
But before we dive right into the sweet snackability of this wonderful fruit, it helps to know a brief history of its origin.Over a century ago, horticulturist Luthor Burbank bred a new fruit variety and called it the Plumcot. He was able to do so by carefully cross-pollinating Plum and Apricot trees, producing a hybrid of both fruits. This 50-50 plum and apricot mix was a hit at market and gained plenty of demand from the consumers who tried them. Not at all fuzzy, but smooth and dark in color like a plum the sweet flavor of the plumcot immediately resonated with produce lovers. Years later, another horticulturist named Floyd Zaiger took this work on plumcots and continued to crossbreed the parent trees, yielding a fruit that was 70% Apricot / 30% Plum. He called this a Pluot and his new creation quickly gained a similar reputation for it's sweet flavor and excellent eating quality.
In case you were wondering, no genetic modification took place in the creation of these delicious fruits! This new hybrid was the result of naturally hand-pollinating the trees to accelerate the natural selection process.
Numerous varieties of Pluots have been developed and more are being introduced every season. Because a Pluot is mostly plum, it looks more like a plum in shape and size than an apricot. Each variety comprises a different percentage of plum and apricot genes, resulting in fruit with a wide range of differing physical attributes: Their skins can be saturated in golden yellow or a pale green speckled with magenta, and their flesh range in color from creamy white to blood red. With all the visual variety comes a myriad of names too: Dinosaur Egg, Red Phoenix, Flavor Royal, Dapple Splendor and Mango Tango - to name a few.
Pluots are delicious on their own and best at room temperature. The Pluot is an easy-to-carry, healthy snack with no need to peel the fruit - you can eat the skin just like you would a plum. An average Pluot has 80 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein, no fat, 225 milligrams potassium and 10 percent daily value of vitamin C. With 15 grams of sugar, Pluots have more sugar than plums, providing their sweet flavor. The sugar is the natural form of fruit sugar, fructose, and fiber slows down absorption giving Pluots a low glycemic index and load, keeping it a healthy option.
Pluots are in season during the Summer months and are typically grown on the West Coast, often shipped throughout the country from orchards in California. Ripe pluots will be mildly soft, with a slight give yeilding to gentle pressure. When purchasing Pluots in the produce department, select fruit that is firm with good color. Avoid bruising or cracked / punctured skin. Store them at home on the counter at room temperature until ripened to your liking. Soft, ripe fruit can be moved to the refrigerator and store an additional 1-2 days before eating.
Check your local Commissary for Pluots, proudly displayed in the produce department while available during the Summer months. Also, be sure to check out some of the unique recipes that can be created with these sweet fruits right here on our webpage!