So, just what is this speckled fruit that looks like a plum and bears a similar, yet funny name?
Pluots are a member of the (delicious!) stone fruit family. They are a hybrid fruit developed in the late 80s that are 75% plum and 25% apricot. They resemble plums with smooth skin, and a similar shape and texture.
If you've never tasted a pluot you're in for a treat! The flavor is intense, and I say that in the best way possible! Pluots don't have the bitter taste that you can sometimes find with plums. Instead, their flavor is brimming with sweetness.
There are quite a lot of pluot varieties, most of which bear interesting names, like Dapple Dandy, Dinosaur Egg, Flavor Grenade and Flavorglo.
How to Select a Pluot
Select pluots just as you would a plum. Look for fragrant-smelling fruit that's firm but gives to the touch, and is free from blemishes. Pluots come in a variety of colors — choose the most vibrant looking fruits among each variety, as those will be the sweetest. Stay away from plots that feel especially hard, they won't ripen well.
Store ripe pluots on the counter for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Eating a Pluot!
Clearly the most important part — how to eat this magical stone fruit. Pluots are simply wonderful eaten fresh. You can also bake them into pies, crisps, cobblers, tarts and cakes.
Have you ever tried pluots before? Do you eat them straightaway, or do something a little more fancy with them?
Updated from a post originally published September 2008.
(Image credits: rj lerich/Shutterstock)