We stopped counting how many apricot-plum hybrids there currently are. The number grows every year as plant breeders do their best to make sure there is something sellable throughout the growing season. The first of these hybrids to come across our radar this season was the velvety sweet aprium. Now we head into the pluot cycle, starting with the Flavorosa. A lot of pluots start with the word “flavor” in their name – Flavor Supreme, Flavor King, Flavor Queen, Flavor Grenade, Flavor Heart, Flavorich, to name a handful. The Flavorosa is one of the more plum-like of the hybrids and is available now.
Your first bite into a Flavorosa pluot is going to hit you with a tangy acidity. The skin is almost lemony, but the initial tang is immediately followed by the soft sweetness of its nearly ruby colored flesh. That balance between sweet and tart is the Flavorosa's claim to fame and makes it great for jams and tarts, assuming they make it out of the fruit bowl. These are just the first in a long line of pluots to come, but they're not a bad way to kick off what is going to be a stellar summer fruit season. Taste test before buying if you can, and choose unnicked, inky purple fruit with red shoulders at the stem end. Before putting them in your bag, take a moment to hover over the piles of sun-warmed fruit. The aroma they give off is sublime. The Flavorosa is currently available from many vendors (the ones up top are from Sweet Tree Farms at the Silver Lake market), a few of whom are returning for the first time after a winter orchard hiatus.