Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pluots and Apriums

      "Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race and we must live in harmony."  - The Message, Firefly, 2003

    There is a difference between genetically modified foods, and foods that are a cross between two existing variations of food. Genetically modified organisms ( GMOs ) are foods that have had the genetic coding tampered with in some way as to alter the food's natural predispositions - making it potentially more disease resistant, slower to ripen ( and thus easier to get to market ), or even more resistant to herbicides or pesticides - the farmer can use harsher chemicals on his crops without damaging the product. Cross bred foods are foods produced when 2 separate but genetically similar plants are combined to produce a third, completely new food with characteristics of the parent foods.

      Some people argue that cross bred foods are potentially equally as dangerous as GMOs. I don't agree with this at all. There are so many naturally occurring instances of success cross breeding - there are 2,500 variations of apples in Nature, for example. Foods that are manipulated in a laboratory to change the base genetic code are foods that will fall under the GMO umbrella - and thus, are potentially questionable at this point. I am not an expert in this, nor do I play one on tv. I honestly don't know if GMOs are ( in the long run ) something we should be eating. I do think it is important to stick with foods as they occur in Nature.

     Pluots ( ploo-aught ) are a cross between an apricot and a plum - and taste like a plum with strong apricot notes in it. The aprium is also a cross between an apricot and a plum - but it tastes like an apricot with strong plum notes. A subtle but definite difference in the two. These are excellent in fruit salads and work well in baked goods. The pluot and the Aprium are sweeter, jucier, and plumper than either an apricot or a plum generally are.

     Bottom line, understand and know the difference between cross bred foods and foods that are GMOs. You'll be very pleased to get to know the pluot and the aprium.