We're Plumb Excited about Pluots!
Explore the pleasures of plums and pluots!
Plum of a Kind
The number of plums out there is a lot and the colors they come in (skin and flesh) even more. They range in texture from firm to slightly soft and in flavor from super sweet to tart. In fact, currently there exists more than 2,000 varieties of plums, with the majority being hybrids of Japanese, American or European plums. So, we’re working with a lot of variables here.
The Pluot Thickens
Say you take one of the aforementioned plums and mix it with an apricot? 50/50 and you get a plumcot. Which is great, but you are looking for something substantially more plummy. So, you go 75% plum and 25% apricot and now you have a pluot. Neither are genetically modified, just the result of natural breeding. We admit we’ve never heard of a plumcot, but totally believe they exist. The pluot, on the other hand, is quite the fad. Pluots are sweeter than a plum or apricot alone and have a complex, intense flavor. They are a good source of Vitamins A & C and come in a wide variety of colors, inside and out, but primarily red, black & mottled.
- Red skin pluots are amazingly full of flavor.
- Their ranges from amber to deep magenta.
- Each bite possesses a bold and sometimes tangy wetness.
- Black skin pluots are bursting with summer flavor.
- The flesh of these fruits can be red, magenta or pale yellow.
- They are the most plum-like of all varieties with a robust sweetness!
- Mottled pluots have yellow and purple spots.
- The inside flesh can range from dark magenta to creamy white with a pink blush.
- They are exceptionally sweet and juicy — and pretty!
Both plums and pluots are ready for harvest in mid-summer and last until the beginning of autumn.
What’s In the Store
Storing plums & pluots (P&P) is a somewhat tricky business. When buying, pick fruit that is free of blemishes, discoloration and soft spots. They can be a little hard because they are easy to ripen at home by simply placing them in a brown paper bag on the counter. Whatever you do, don’t put unripe P&P in the refrigerator. They won’t ripen and will get mealy and chill damaged.
If you’re not in a hurry, you can let P&P ripen at room temperature, but don’t put them in the sun or let them get too hot, then they ripen too fast. See, very delicate operation.
To check for ripeness, simply smell and feel the P&P. They should be fragrant and slightly soft. When they are ripe, you can then put them in the refrigerator to keep a bit longer or do what we do, and eat them!
Clearly, P&P make great snacks: rinse and eat. But think dessert! Jellies, jams, pies, pastries, sauces over ice cream, cobbler and more! They just get sweeter when cooked and the pluots are amazing when their naturally intense flavor is concentrated. Plum delicious!