Fusion is a popular word, especially in the food industry. We don’t just want Italian; we want Italian Rustic, or maybe Asian Italian rustic. So why would this not apply to the produce world? It has, and in the form of hybrid fruit.
Peachcots, pluots, plumcots and tangelos are some of the fruit that are now, in this adventurous food time, in most everyday markets. Why would the farmers bother? Why merge these fruits or any fruits? There are a few main reasons; the trip to market may have been a harsh one for some fruits so merging would have made the fruit more resilient. The world always loves a bright red apple, it just looks appetizing, and hybrid fruit would be bred to be always of beautiful color, which of course is more appealing to customers and especially chefs.
One might not consider the meyer lemon to be a hybrid but it was certainly bred to be less sour than a regular lemon. There is no doubt that anyone who has tried a meyer lemon could speak to the benefits of merging fruit DNA.
For taste purposes, one must introduce the Brangelina of hybrid fruit (in this writer’s opinion) the Pluot. First, you have to love the name…PLUOT. Second but not secondary is flavor: a pluot is a complex cross hybrid of plum and apricot, precisely ¾ plum and ¼ apricot in origin. The fruit's exterior closely resembles a plum. Pluots are noted for their intense plum flavor and their sweetness, which is due to very high sugar content.
Upon the research for hybrid fruit, this writer was directed by the produce manager at my local supermarket to give Grapples a try. In an area off from the main apples, there sat a clear plastic container with four apples inside. A quick sniff of the container revealed a whiff of grape.
Biting into a grapple is like eating an apple that tastes like grape…grape bubble gum. After a few bites, it was too sickening to continue with. Just to be clear, grapple is not a hybrid, but a fuji apple soaked in grape flavoring. While it does not take on any extra calories or sugars during the process, your taste buds still suffer.
When you try new things, make sure you are trying hybrid fruit and not chemically altered fruit. A little DNA twist can be pretty interesting.
Photos provided by:freakingnews.com, health.discovery.com, and rainierfruit.com.