If your children add dinosaur eggs to your shopping list, fear not. This is a really good thing. Pluots, or Dinosaur Eggs as they are often referred to, are a relatively new fruit that combines the plum and apricot. Some pluots are more plum than apricot and some are more apricot than plum depending upon how they were bred. They get the nickname dinosaur eggs because some varieties are speckled or mottled on the outside, looking similar to a dinosaur egg. There are actually more than 30 varieties with unique colors and flavors.
Technically, pluots are 75 percent plum and 25 percent apricot. They resemble plums more so than apricots. The addition of the apricot makes them incredibly sweet and the plum makes them extremely juicy. Contrary to popular belief, pluots are not genetically modified. Instead, they are fruits in the prunus genus, which include apricots, peaches, cherries and almonds. The pluot is a cross of two species in the same genus. Pluots have 80 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of protein, no fat and 225 mg potassium. They are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Pluots also contain naturally occurring phytonutrients and antioxidants that are thought to play a key role in disease prevention.
Types of Pluots:
- Mottled skin varieties include Dinosaur Egg and Autumn Honey, are pink and purple with white spots. The inside flesh can range from dark magenta to creamy white with a pink blush. These varieties are all extremely sweet and juicy.
- Black skin varieties look like plums and may include the Flavor Heart, Ebony Gold and Black Pearl. The flesh of these fruits are magenta or pale yellow. They are the most plum-like in taste and sweetness.
- Green skin varieties may include the Flavor Queen, Emerald Sweet and Mango Tango. These varieties may range from green with a red blush on the outside to completely yellow. The flesh inside can range from a pink blush to pale yellow or even bright red. Green pluots are very juicy and sweet and have a tropical-like flavor. These are my favorites!
- Red skin varieties may include the Raspberry Jewel, Flavor King, Sugar Heart, Midnight Jewel and Big Daddy. Red pluots have a bold taste and sometimes are tangy.
Pluots are available in grocery stores and farmer’s markets from May to October. Try them in yogurt, salads or in some of your favorite plum receipts (they are a great twist on salsa). Plums and pluots grow well in Idaho’s hot summers and make up between 5-10 percent of our fruit tree crops. Sample all varieties and discover your favorite!