Why Not Pluots?

Pluots and plums from the Davis Farmer's Market

When it comes to food I consider myself a purest. I’m skeptical of genetically altered plants and animals. Inserting hog DNA into a fish may sound good on paper but do we really need to add sardine bacon to our shopping lists? (and how many sardine bellies would it take to make a decent sandwich anyway?) In my experience, heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables are almost always superior in flavor and texture to modern hybrids. A rare exception to this rule is the pluot. The result of a cross between plums and apricots, pluots are, in many cases, better than the two fruits from which they are derived. They have skin that’s less tannic than plums and flesh that’s more complex and sweeter in flavor than apricots. Look for varieties like Flavor King and Dapple Dandy in your local farmer’s market. Try this for an unusual pairing of pluots and creamy burrata cheese:

Thinly sliced pluots

Cut a 4 oz ball of burrata into 6 pieces of equal size and place the cheese on large serving plate. Thinly slice the pluot, parallel to the seam, until you reach the pit. Scatter chopped Marcona almonds over the cheese and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Lay the slices of pluot over the cheese so that they slightly overlap. Dress a few wild arugula leaves with a few drops of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Scatter the arugula over the pluot slices and serve.