If you want to find the best fruits you can, your best bet is to find out what is in season and seek it out from a high-quality vendor at a good local farmer’s market, where the produce will be the freshest. If you want to find the perfect fruit, however, your best bet is to become a biologist who specializes in fruit genetics. Biologist Floyd Zaiger has pretty much dedicated his career to the development of the perfect fruit and, as a result of his work, we’re seeing all kinds of interesting fruit hybrids gaining popularity.
The most well-know is the pluot, since it is currently the most widely available new hybrid. It’s a cross between a plum and an apricot, roughly 75% plum and 25% apricot. They resemble plums in appearance, with smooth red skin that is sometimes mottled with a lighter yellow-red color, and taste quite a bit sweeter than your average plum, although they are fairly similar in flavor. There are several varieties of pluot, so color and shape can vary a bit. The fruits are also slightly hardier than pure plums are, so they ship and store better than the non-hybrids. They are in season from about May through September.
Apriots are also plum-apricot hybrids, but they have the opposite ratio of pluots: roughly 25% plum and 75% apricot. They look very like apricots and have a fuzzy, pink-hued yellow skin, although they are slightly larger than apricots are. They are very sweet, with an unusualy high sugar content even for ripe stone fruit. Their season is very short and usually only lasts through the month of June, give or take a few weeks.
Other hybrid fruits that Zaiger, though his company Zaiger’s Genetics, has developed include: peacotums (peach-apricot-plum), plumcots (another plum-apricot) and nectaplums (nectarine-plum) and nectarcots (nectarine-apricot), as well as a wide variety of other hybrids involving stone fruits.