Try summer's fancier fruits

By Tanya Zuckerbrot

Satellite Peach (a.k.a. Donut Peach) is a unique fruit related to flat peaches from China. They are slightly rounded and squat, almost like a small apple, with a tiny pit and textured like a peach with a soft, velvety skin. Satellite peaches are available from late spring through summer, and when they are ripe they have a creamy, juicy and sweet flavor. Nutrition-wise, satellite peaches contain fiber, which aids in digestion, plus they are rich in vitamins A and C that promote healthy skin. They are also a good source of antioxidants lycopene and lutein, which can be helpful in preventing heart disease, macular degeneration, and cancer.

Pluots (a.k.a. Dino Eggs) are a hybrid of plum and apricot, also popularly known as dino eggs. Grown in California, pluots come in several varieties including mottled, black, green, and red, and each has a distinctive taste. Mottled pluots are exceptionally sweet and juicy, black skins are mildly tart like plums, green skins have a tropical flavor, while red varieties have a tangy, bold sweetness. Pluots are rich in vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and disease-fighting phytonutrients and antioxidants. Just as important is what they donít have: fat, cholesterol or sodium. You can always tell when a pluot is perfect for eating by its sweet, fruity fragrance.

Peacotum are a triple hybrid mix of peach, apricot and plum created by Zaigerís Genetics, world-famous for hybridization using natural methods instead of genetic modification. The dense, juicy flesh of the peacotum is similar to a necatrine and depending on its ripeness (look for yellow skin with a nice blush) the fruit can be either sweet or somewhat sour. At its flavorful peak (figure around mid-August) a bite of peacotum tastes a lot like fruit punch.

Nectaplum are a mix between nectarines and plums. These fruits are only available about four weeks mid-summer so grab some while you can. Best bet is to check your local farmerís market. A nectaplum has a smooth, dusky red skin with white succulent flesh that is both sweet and spicy, with low acidity and when cut open it drips sweet and super-juicy.

Peachcot are a combination of peach and apricot. Apricot is the dominant flavor of the two fruits and this is understandable given the peachcotís look and taste. It has the firm flesh and smooth, rosy golden skin of an apricot, but size-wise itís more like a smallish peach. Enjoyed at its prime a peachcot is said to be sweet as candy.

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