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It is confusing when you go to the grocery store and you see Pluots, Plumcots and Plums on the shelves next to each other. What is the difference? Plumcots are a 50/50 cross between plums and apricots and were developed in the late 19th century by Luther Burbank.  Unfortunately they were difficult to grow and had a bad reputation.  Floyd Zaiger, father of over 200 stone fruit varieties, took the Plumcot and created more complex hybrids.  He backcrossed plumcots with plums and made a new fruit, the Pluot with about 75% plum and 25% apricot. The percentages can vary slightly by variety.  Zaiger trademarked the name Pluot in 1990 in order to market it as different from the unsuccessful Plumcot.  The Dave Wilson Nursery is the only wholesale nursery authorized to propagate and distribute the Pluot trees developed by Zaiger Genetics.

Zaigers Genetics is located in Modesto, California and they have conducted extensive cross breading of plums and apricots to produce a wide array of hybrid trees.  Pluots look more like plums than apricots with smooth skin and no dimple like an apricot.  They are thick, sweet and rich with the flavor of plum blended with the savory flavor of an apricot.  Pluots ripen on the trees in the mid to late summer.  Pluots are mostly grown in the San Joaquin Valley where the winter time temperatures are not too cold and the summer time is hot and dry.

One of the most famous Pluots is the Dapple Dandy, which has also been marketed as the “dinosaur egg.” Some more popular names are the Flavor Crisp, Flavor Fall, Flavor Finale, Flavor Gem, Flavor Gold, Flavor Grenade, Flavor Heart, Flavor Jewel, Flavor King, Flavor Queen, Flavor Royale, Flavor Supreme, Flavor Treat, Flavorich and Flavorosa.

Dapple Dandy Pluot

Mariposa Pluot

Pluots come in many colors from green, shades of purple, pink to red and can be solid, mottled, dappled or spotted.  They often have a white or silvery colored “coating” on them. This is a natural, waxy, protective coating produced by the fruit. Always make sure to wash your fruit before eating it. Look for pluots that are smooth-skinned, plump and firm. They will ripen on your counter and you can refrigerate them for up to 3 days. Best eaten out of hand, try a Pluot Proseco summer cocktail or slice them into a summer salad.

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