What is a pluot, and what makes them special? Chef Kim Alter of San Francisco’s Nightbird Restaurant visits Aomboon Deasy of K&J Orchards during peak pluot season to learn more about this star summer fruit—part plum, part apricot—and shares five unexpected ways to enjoy and prepare pluots at home.
Beloved by chefs for their tree-ripened and hand-harvested fruit, K&J Orchards grows more than 180 varieties of fruits and nuts in Winters and Yuba City, California, from cherries and apricots in the spring to persimmons and pomegranates in the fall. Started by Kalayada Ammatya and James Beutel—a professor of pomology (the study of fruit)—the farm is now managed by their daughter, Aomboon (nicknamed “Boonie”), and her husband, Tim.
Aomboon and Tim grow dozens of stone fruit varieties throughout the summer and fall season, including pluots, a plum-leaning hybrid stone fruit. The skin of the pluot resembles a plum and the flesh is juicy and sweet due to its high sugar content. Available at the farmers market May through October, you can find them in a rainbow of colors, from yellow-green to deep purple, with popular varietals such as Flavor King and Dapple Dandy.
Kim Alter will be participating in CUESA's Sunday Supper: A Farm to Home Feast on October 18. Learn more.