Saturday, September 5


Welcome to the first installment of What The? Theater, where we investigate the rare, quirky, and sometimes downright weird food we find in the grocery store. At the one near my office building has in its opening a display for "Flavor Grenades", at $1.99 per pound. What the...?

The stickers say "Dinosaur Egg", and the receipt says "Pluots". Pluwhats? Turns out it's some kind of plum. So what the heck, let's buy some. It'll be interesting.

So... it peels kinda nicely, or delicately. The sticker ripped of a bit of skin when I tried to take it off. And that's a nifty color stryation (?) when you slice it across the meat. Biting into it? Well, you better have a plate handy. These things are juicier than the worst office gossip. This thing shot juice across my cheeks and created a big honkin' puddle on the plate.

So what's it taste like? Unsurprisingly, it's got the consistency of a really wet plum. It tastes kinda like a plum with tangy acidic, mildly citric tones, and then the sweetness is turned up a notch. The flesh does its best to disintegrate when you put your teeth through it. Surprisingly, it holds together okay when you take a serrated knife to it.

Speaking of which, that gave me an idea of what to do with them. St. Alton makes a neat individual peach upside down cake, so I thought I'd adapt the recipe to take pluots. The recipe calls for four individual 6 oz. ramekins. Seeing as how I was really broke at the time, I decided not to drop $8 on a new piece of kitchen equipment and made one big cake in a 6" cake pan.

That's some butter and brown sugar at the bottom of the pan. It's supposed to be followed up by some candied ginger, but I couldn't find any. The batter you mix up as normal, and you pour over the pluot slices artfully arranged in the bottom of the pan. (Image of batter accidentally not taken.)

Because you're going from little ramekins to a [comparatively large] pan, double the cooking time.

It's got a nice color, and a toothpick will come out clean when inserted. Well, the pluots are gooey, so it won't be completely clean. Run the knife around the edge, put a plate on top, and flip the whole thing over. Use a big plate because the pluot's juiciness will cause it to splut out as it's freed from its 6" prison and into a wide world of horizontal space.

Cut the cake in quarters (so it would be the same serving size as the ramekins) and serve. The buttermilk in the cake makes a nice tangy counterpoint to the pluot's now almost excessive sweetness. But overall, it's very nice. I strongly recommend it.

Remember folks, just because it's foreign to you, doesn't mean it doesn't deserve an audition in your kitchen.

1 comment:

David Wagner said...

If it wasn't for your intrepid nature, I'd have no idea these things existed! Thanks for the effort. I trust they were yummy.

Loved the "office gossip" line. Good stuff.