Dapple Dandy Pluots

I have been buying a lot of the apricot-plum crossbreeds known as pluots, plumcots and apriums lately. Some agricultural experts are calling these the sweetest, juiciest, most flavorful tree fruits ever invented. Marketing experts predict that this is the product that will finally get Americans interested in upscale fruit.

In Japan, one perfectly ripe cherry sells for a dollar. Asian consumers are forever on the look-out for the very best fruit on the market, and money is no object. Meanwhile, Americans will walk by piles of astonishingly good plums, peaches and nectarines to get to the flavorless delicious apples -- or whatever is the cheapest fruit in the store.

A fruit revolution now taking place in the San Joaquin Valley is the subject of a new book called The Perfect Fruit by Chip Brantley. California fruit growers are betting that as Americans begin to shift their tastes away from plentiful, but tasteless, commodity products and demand fruits and vegetables with higher quality and more flavor, the market for luscious new fruit hybrids is going to explode.

I don't know where American tastes are going, but I'm going back to Central Market for more of these Dapple Dandy pluots. They are really awesome if you let them sit out for a few days until they're super-ripe.

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