Friday, August 5, 2011

1MB Taste Test: Pluots

A year ago, I'd never even heard of a pluot.  It was only recently that I learned they are a complex hybrid fruit that is a cross of plum and apricot - neither of which held huge appeal for me on their own (plums are too 'firm' - I prefer peaches, and apricots are usually too fibrous). 

Pluots vs. Apriums:
Pluots are an 'invention', a product of the late 20th century and the mind of Floyed Zaiger along with apriums, and now grown in California and Washington. Pluots are more plum than apricot; throw the balance off, and you will get an 'aprium' (more apricot than plum).  Both fruit are known for their sweetness, supposed to be more than an apricot or a plum alone.

After trying a literally perfect pluot at Eat Real Fest's single fruit stand, I was intrigued to try more.

Apparently pluots are in season May-September: On recent trips to Hollywood Farmers Market, I started noticing that some vendors were selling many different varieties of pluots with interesting names - curiosity took hold and I decided to do a taste test.  Arnett Farms happened to have the largest selection (and the most informative signage!), all for $3 per pound, so I scooped up four varieties to try.

Flavor Queen Pluot - the easiest to identify of the four, with light green skin. A sign above the basket heralded this breed as "rich, intensely sweet, flavors of melon, honey and rose", which made me think it would have layers of pronounced flavors and therefore be my favorite.  What I ended up tasting was more tart, like a granny smith apple - without the layers of interplaying flavors I was expecting.

Dapple Fire Pluot - this one had a reddish / peachy colored exterior with a red interior.  Described simply as a "sweet", "red flesh fruit" - the interior color reminds me of blood orange, was smooth and super juicy, and the level of sweetness was well balanced for my taste.  The only thing that I didn't really love was that the skin was a little tart.

Geo Pride Pluots - Described quite simply as "crunchy & sweet" - this turned out to be the dark horse, coming in my surprise head 0f the pack as my favorite of the four by far.  The taste and consistency was to me was like a combination of peach and plum (so really should be called pleach instead of pluot?).

Cotton Candy Pluot - the sign above this one touted it as "natures candy".  From a distance, it did look like it was possibly made of marzipan - it had the crispest silhouette of the four, probably due to it having the firmest flesh.  As I should have known from the name, this variety was far too sweet for my taste.

Out of the four pluots in the tasting, personally I would rank them, in order of 'delicious' to 'would not buy again' - as follows:  Geo Pride, Dapple Fire, Flavor Queen, Cotton Candy.

I only tried four, but apparently there are 20 varieties of pluots!  For more about the fruit:

Though I didn't love them all, was glad to have the chance to check them out - one of my favorite things about Farmers Market is learning about things I'd never seen before!  Looking forward to more fruit/veggie discoveries at my favorite (Hollywood) Farmers Market!


  1. I've been tasting the pluots here all summer and I've noticed that week to week, my favorites change. The varieties that were delicious in early August are lack-luster in mid-September. In fact, two weeks ago I didn't buy any pluots because they just didn't taste that great. But this week they had some new varieties out that were AMAZING (Black Cat and another green one... I think the name had something to do with Autumn). So what I would like to suggest with pluots, especially at Arnett Farms, is take advantage of the samples because a different variety is at its peak every week.

  2. Good point / tip! Will give them another try -Black Cat pluot sounds intriguing! :)



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