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The nature of stonefruit can seem complex, especially when you’re simply browsing the produce section of your local organic market. Peaches, plums, nectarines, pluots, apricots, apriums…there are varieties for everyone, but we are often asked: “How are they all related?”

We hope to bridge the gap so teachers, mothers, and curious youngsters can fully educate themselves and hopefully see the beauty of how stonefruit farming brings us delectable stonefruit.

Start a tradition of educating your loved ones about where their food comes from. Open the eyes of your family and friends by answering one simple question:

What are Stonefruits?

It’s not uncommon for those involved in the agricultural world to forget that the official terminology doesn’t always make sense to the rest of us. (Tsk tsk, ag folk!) Stonefruits are classified by a few key characteristics: its skin, juicy flesh, and pit.

For kids, a fun and easy way to remember whether a fruit is considered a stonefruit is that its pit is similar to a stone with a solid and nearly unbreakable nature. If you find a pit in your treat, there’s a good chance it’s a stonefruit.

The pit can be categorized into freestone and clingstone, depending on whether or not the pit is easy to remove. A clingstone is difficult to remove while a freestone gives no problems at all.

Stonefruits typically form from a bunch of breathtaking blooms. Looking at these flowers you’d never guess they were about to become the juicy snack food we all love.

Fun fact: Did you know in some areas stonefruits are called drupes? Also, the terms stonefruit and stone fruit are interchangeable and personal preference—choose what best suits you.

Popular Stonefruit Varieties

While stonefruits are easy to recognize due to their distinguishing characteristics, we ’re willing to bet you know more about these varieties than you realize.

  • Peaches
    Peaches have a long history—so long we could replace an entire semester of collegiate-level “World History” with “Peach History” and still have many more lessons to share. Its history is that juicy.
    Common varieties include yellow and white flesh peaches.
  • Apricots
    While the origin of the apricot is still disputed, one thing we do know is California grows 95% of the United States’ apricots. Apricots are a true gem of the stonefruit world, providing a deliciously bright flavor that we cannot get enough of.
  • Apriums
    This hybrid of plums and apricots will definitely make your taste buds happy! Compared to many stonefruit varieties, the aprium is a fairly new hybrid, and a lot of folks have never heard of it. Let me tell you, they are worth your time!
  • Nectarines
    The nectarine is simply a non-fuzzy version of a peach, and just like with apricots, California grows over 95% of what the United States sees in any given year.
    Similar to the peach, common varieties include yellow and white flesh nectarines.
  • Plums
    If you want to talk about variety, plums are the way to go. They offer so many different colors (black, red, and green) and experiences that it’s no surprise how popular they’ve become. There is a taste for everybody. Fun fact: plums are closely related to peaches and cherries!
  • Pluots
    The pluot is another one of the fantastic plum and apricot hybrids, but with the percentage of each parent fruit’s traits switched around. Pluots are 25% apricot and 75% plum, making it a delightful treat for those who adore both fruits.

If you’re interested, dive deeper into each one of these and you’ll see an amazing world filled with various sub-varieties and differences so subtle they’re difficult to spot. Learn more about our own organic growers and everything they do to keep sustainability alive.

See when our stonefruit varieties are in season and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter to always be in the loop.

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