Plumcot and the Pluot are two remarkable types of plums that cleverly combine the best attributes of plums and apricots.
From their fascinating genetic make-up to their colorful exteriors and unforgettable flavor profiles.
Guide to the world of plum apricot hybrids. The article will detail the difference between Plumcots and Pluots.
⬇️ Table of Contents
What Is a Plumcot?
A plumcot, the tantalizing offspring of a plum and an apricot, marries the best qualities of its parent fruits. Its flavor—a delightful harmony of plum and other fruit characteristics—often steals the show. While the flesh leans towards the firmness of a plum, it surrenders a sweetness that mirrors its secondary parentage.
The history of the plumcot traces back to the late 19th century, credited to the green thumb of horticulturist Luther Burbank. His knack for interbreeding various plum species with their counterparts resulted in the birth of this novel hybrid stone fruit. It wasn't until the 1950s that these hybrid fruits earned their moniker—plumcot.
In most cases, a plumcot exhibits a perfect 50-50 balance, sharing its genetics equally between a plum and its counterpart. Top-tier varieties such as the Flavor Grenade, flaunting a reddish-purple exterior and vibrant red flesh, hold their ground.
The Dapple Dandy variety, with its unique dappled orange peel and firm, sun-yellow flesh, is another crowd favorite. Spanning across a color spectrum from purple and red to orange and yellow, the outer layer of plumcots is certainly a sight for sore eyes.
Taste and Texture
Imagine biting into a fruit that offers a super sweet flavor with a hint of tartness. The texture is between the dense flesh of an apricot hybrid and the juiciness of a plum.
Mottle: To mark or diversify with spots or blotches of a different color or shade.
In the context of stone fruits like pluots, "mottled" often refers to a skin pattern featuring irregular spots or blotches of varying colors, giving the fruit a unique, speckled appearance.
The limited growing season makes it a summer delight. So, if you're looking to enjoy this fruit hybrid, mark your calendars!
Both are interspecific hybrids, but they're different species. While Plumcots are a simple cross between plums and apricots, Pluots involve more complex genetic engineering.
What Is a Pluot?
The Pluot! Created by Floyd Zaiger, this stone fruit is more plum than apricot, typically around 75% plum. Unlike the Plumcot, the Pluot has a sweeter taste and a rich variety of flavors, thanks to selective breeding.
The Dapple Dandy
Ever heard of the Dapple Dandy? It's a type of Pluot with purple skin and pale yellow to dark red flesh. It's a flavor grenade that explodes in your mouth!
Packed with vitamin C, Pluots offer more than just taste. They're a healthy addition to your recipes, whether you're making a yogurt parfait or a fruit salad.
Pluot vs. Plumcot: What's the Difference?
So what exactly sets plumcots and pluots apart?
Here are some key differences:
- Plumcots have a 50-50 blend of plum and apricot genetics. Pluots contain about 75% plum and 25% apricot DNA.
- Plumcots exhibit more apricot-like traits such as sweet-tart flavor, bright coloring, and tender flesh. Pluots lean more strongly towards plums in taste, texture, and appearance.
- Plumcots are considered a first generation hybrid fruit, while pluots are later generations with more developed plum qualities.
- Pluots tend to be smaller and rounder, while plumcots are often larger and more oblong shaped.
- The flesh of plumcots ranges from dense to tender and juicy. Pluots nearly always have firmer, denser flesh.
- Plumcots have the signature dappled pattern of apricots. Pluots may exhibit speckling but also have many all-over skin colors.
So in summary, those with a preference towards plums will likely enjoy pluots more, while plumcot fans will prefer their more apricot-like qualities!
What Does a Plumcot Taste Like?
The taste of a ripe plumcot is perhaps its most alluring feature. They have a sweet yet gently tart flavor with tropical, smoothie-like tones. You’ll notice both plum and apricot flavors, often described as a perfect balance of the two parent fruits.
Some specific tasting notes include:
- Sweet vanilla flavors
- Bright, tangy apricot tones
- Rich plum notes
- Floral, perfume-like aromas
- Hints of almonds, berries, or melon
- A pleasing, smooth texture
The juicy flesh is sumptuous and succulent when ripe. Plumcots with yellow or orange flesh tend to be sweeter, while those with red flesh have more tartness.
How Long Are Plumcots and Pluots In Season?
Ah, the short season! Plumcots have a limited growing season, typically during the summer months. So, if you find them, grab them!
Love plums, but not sure when they're in season? We wrote an article covering the topic in detail: When Are Plums In Season 🍑 Find the Best Plums
Limited Harvest Window for Plumcots
Ah, the short season, which has a surprisingly small harvest window with a limited growing season that falls in early to mid-summer. Unlike more common fruits available year-round, the plumcot season only lasts 4-6 weeks.
In the U.S., you can typically find they in season from May through early July, with exact timing varying by growing region. Warmer southern areas might see ripe plumcots as early as late April, while cooler northern climates could enjoy them into early August.
Is A Plum The Same As a Pluot?
While they share similarities, plums and pluots are distinctly different fruits:
- Plums are an ancient fruit in the Prunus genus, which also includes peaches, nectarines, and apricots. There are many different plum varieties.
- Pluots are a modern hybrid between plums and apricots, first developed in the 20th century. Their name comes from "plum" and "apricot."
- Pluots exhibit traits from both parent fruits, including the smooth skin, round shape, and sweet-tart flavor of plums.
- Unlike pluots, plums do not have apricot parentage. Plums pre-date pluot hybrids by thousands of years.
- While plums can vary greatly in taste and texture, pluots have a more consistent plum-apricot flavor and firm flesh.
Do You Eat the Skin of a Plumcot?
Absolutely, the smooth exterior is not just edible but also packed with nutrients. It adds a beautiful color and texture contrast to the flesh.
But pluots are distinctly hybrid fruits rather than natural plum varieties. Their apricot ancestry gives them a unique flavor profile compared to either parent species.
Whether eating them fresh off the kitchen counter or incorporating them into recipes, both Plumcots and Pluots offer a delicious and nutritious option.
So the next time you're in the grocery store, why not pick up these different varieties and give them a try?