I'm old enough to remember when the stone fruit repertoire consisted solely of plums, peaches, cherries and apricots, at least in import-dependent Minnesota. Such is the life of living in fruit-unfriendly Zone 4, right? Local supermarkets have been expanding their assortments of the drupe fruit family -- defined as a thin-skinned fruit with a hard stone or seed in the middle -- to include a dizzying variety of pluots (a three-quarter plum/one-quarter apricot cross), plumcots (half plum/half apricot) and apriums (quarter plum/three-quarter apricot). Kowalski's Markets are currently stocking a wide variety of this juicy, succulent specialty fruit, all grown by Kingsburg Orchards, a 6,000-acre, family-owned spread near Fresno, Calif.


Kowalski's Markets, eight Twin Cities locations, including 8505 Valley Creek Rd., Woodbury, 651-578-8800, kowalskis.com.

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