Oh my...if I'd realised the pluots I'd used in the latest Daring Bakers challenge would have garnered this much attention, I would have included a few words about them in that post.
Pluots are a new stone fruit , developed sometime in the latter part of the last century by Floyd Zaiger, a fruit geneticist. He is known for developing two types of fruit, the pluot and the aprium. From their names, you can tell they are plum-apricot crosses.
Broken, down, pluots are about 75 per cent plum and 25 per cent apricot. Because of their size, shape and fuzzless skin, they look a lot like plums.
Their flesh is juicy (look at the top photo and you'll see driblets on the plate) and (when ripe) is almost honey-sweet.
They are grown in California and Washington State--I don't know of any Canadian producers, but I suspect there should be some.
There are more than 20 pluot varieties, but neither my bigscarymegamart, nor my mediumscarymegamart bother to identify which types they sell. For ages I thought we only got one type (the top two pictures): a midnight purple skin with soft reddish-pink flesh.
Today when I went to pick up some, they had different type (bottom two pictures). Its reddish with with orangy yellow skin can look a little like a nectarine. Its flesh is orangey-red, but I don't think the ones I bought are as ripe as they should be (moments of sweetness, but also was a bit sour and not as soft).
Like most stone fruit (and berries) the way I tell if they are ripe is by their aroma and texture...they smell floral and sweet and they are slightly yielding witha firm grasp. Then again, I like my fruit well ripened ("rotten" according to My Dear Little Cardamummy, who prefers things a bit more astringent).