At farmers markets, vendors often offer a variety of stone fruits — pluots, plumcots, apriums, and apriplums — that sound more like orbs of the astral variety than edible delights. So what are they anyway?
All four of these fruits are hybrids that combine varieties of plums and apricots, and the differences are subtle. Plumcots are first-generation descendants of a 50-50 plum and apricot cross. In the 1980s, Zaiger Genetics trademarked the term "pluot," a term that refers to dozens of varieties, from Dapple Dandies to Flavor Grenades, that have a higher plum-to-apricot ratio.
Like pluot, "aprium" is a Zaiger Genetics-trademarked name bestowed upon a plum-and-apricot-crossed fruit, only this time, apriums have a higher apricot-to-plum heritage. These hybrids resemble apricots, down to the orange flesh and slight fuzziness. Apriplums have a long history like the plumcot, and these days, the term is used to describe apricot-plum crosses not created by Zaiger.
As a result of their heritage, plumcots and pluots have a flavor closer to plums, and apriplums and apriums taste more like apricots. One thing these hybrids have in common is intense sweetness, thanks to their high sugar content. Use them in pies, crumbles, salads, and dishes that call for other stone fruits. And next time you spot these strangely named oddities of the fruit world at the farmers market, ask for a taste. Their flavor is out of this world!