Stone fruits are amongst the most popular fruits around the world.
In this elite group are members such as the peach, apricot, and mango which are all widely cultivated for their unique and distinctive flavors.
So what makes them unique?
Stone fruits get their name from their distinctive characteristic of containing a single pit or stone in the center. Stone fruits are seasonally cultivated as they ripen once harvested.
There’s such a broad variety of stone fruits that come from all over the world, some you may already know of, whilst others you might never have heard of.
This post will share with you some amazing fruits with stones!
Holding the title as one of the most popular fruits with a stone is the peach. Peaches offer a unique sweet flavor with a rich floral fragrance.
If you’ve tried a peach, you’ll know that once ripe, the fruit can get a little out of control with its sweet and sticky juice.
Considered a summer fruit, peaches are wholly refreshing and nutrient-rich.
Besides being widely enjoyed raw, peaches are also commonly used for culinary purposes as they make a fantastic ingredient for baked goods and beverages.
Often confused for a nectarine, though they are of the same species, peaches consist of a thin fuzzy skin whilst nectarines consist of smooth, non-fuzzy skin.
Plums are another popular stone fruit.
They feature distinctive thin sour skin and juicy pulp. Plums can be found in a variety of colors from purple, red, black, and yellow.
You can tell a plum is ripe when it begins to develop a white dusty layer which is essentially a wax coating that words to protect the fruit.
Plums are considered to be a varied group of species with diverse plum varieties cultivated across the world such as the Japanese plum, Damson plum, and Mirabelles.
Plums offer a sweet and sometimes tart flavor.
Plums are commonly eaten raw, dried to make prunes, or used for culinary purposes such as baking.
Cherries are considered to be highly nutritious, packed full of a host of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and rich in antioxidants.
There are over 1200 varieties of cherries in the world. Each type of cherry consists of a unique appearance and a distinctive taste.
Not only are there an exceptional amount of varieties, but cherries can also be found in a variety of colors, from red, purple, and black to white, yellow and pink cherries.
There are two significant types of cherries, sweet cherries, and tart cherries.
The most common and regularly used is the sweet cherry as it is often used for culinary purposes.
A close relative of the peach is the nectarine.
Nectarines offer a similar flavor and texture to peach but with smooth and shiny skin that isn’t fuzzy.
The nectarine consists of a thin red-yellow skin and a juicy yellow pulp, both of which are edible.
Nectarines can commonly be found growing in warm climates across regions along the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
With peaches and nectarines being incredibly close in biological make-up sometimes a nectarine may appear on a peach tree as a result of vegetative deviation.
Apricots are a unique stone fruit. Like a peach, they consist of a relatively fuzzy thin skin, and like a nectarine, they consist of a sweet and sometimes tangy juicy pulp.
However, apricots are significantly smaller in size and offer a distinctive sweet floral flavor.
Tasting delicious eaten fresh, they are also popularly used as an ingredient for baking and making into jams, sauces, and beverages.
Besides their unique flavor, apricots contain a rich amount of nutrients and antioxidants that offer great health benefits.
Though originally from Asia, apricots are cultivated across the world but are most widely cultivated in Turkey for culinary purposes.
The mango is a popular stone fruit that is produced by the tropical Mangifera indica tree.
Mango originates from several regions including Myanmar, Bangladesh, and India, however, they are widely cultivated across the world, most specifically in tropical regions such as Southern Asia.
Mangoes are most commonly eaten raw and used for culinary purposes being used as an ingredient for making chutney.
There are hundreds of varieties of mango, each unique in its appearance and taste. Some mangoes are sour and tangy, some are sweet and juicy whilst others are citrusy or creamy.
The lychee fruit comes from the soapberry family.
The lychee is a unique fruit that consists of a distinctive dusky pink coarse shell with a white, almost translucent pulp with a single seed in the middle.
Lychee fruit provides a distinctive sweet and floral flavor and scent.
Lychees are widely consumed across the world due to their unique flavor, scent, and texture which is said to be a cross between a grape and pear.
The lychee fruit is native to China and is widely cultivated across Asia and Africa.
Though the pulp of the lychee fruit is edible, the consumption of the fruit and fruit’s seed has been linked to causing hypoglycemic encephalopathy from the toxins in unripe lychees.
Raspberries are frequently misconstrued as a berry due to their berry-like appearance.
However, botanically, they are classified as stone fruits as they are characterized as a cluster of fruits that contain pits.
They can be found in a range of colors including the most common dusky pink as well as black, purple, and yellow.
Raspberries are a perennial fruit that is widely cultivated around the world as a result of their annual produce, they have a distinctive sweet and tangy flavor and soft texture.
Raspberries are often described as melting in the mouth and hence are popularly consumed as a healthy snack.
Though delicate in appearance, the raspberry plant is a relative of the rose plant and can stand to grow vigorously, becoming invasive.
Biologically, blackberries are considered to be very similar to raspberries.
The significant difference between the two fruits is that blackberries consist of smooth and glossy skin whilst raspberries are considered fuzzy.
Blackberries also contain a torus when picked whereas raspberries present a hollow core.
Unripe blackberries turn from green to red and produce an unpleasant sharp flavor, but once ripe the stone fruit turns purple-black producing a floral sweetness.
There are three main species of mulberry which are white, red, and black mulberry.
There are many varieties of mulberries that can be found across the world from Southern Europe and the Middle East to Asia and Africa. Mulberries are similar to blackberries in their shape and size.
However, they can be found in a wider variety of colors than blackberries and are typically juicer and consist of a distinct undertone.
Mulberries are nutrient-rich and widely cultivated for culinary purposes and for making them into dietary supplements.
However, unripe mulberries are said to contain a toxic sap that may cause stimulating or hallucinogenic effects.
You may have heard of olives, but did you know that they’re a stone fruit?
This widely consumed fruit is classified as a drupe (stone fruit) and is related to other significant stone fruits such as mangoes, cherries, and peaches.
It stands to be a unique fruit due to its unusually high-fat content. Olives are enjoyed for their unique flavor and are considered to be highly nutritious.
Olives are often made into oil and tapenades and are used all across the world from South America to Australia.
There are two distinct types of olives; green and black. They are widely enjoyed raw or added to salads and used for other culinary purposes.
Coconuts are a unique stone fruit.
Similar to olives and mangoes, coconuts are botanically classified as drupes though they are frequently misconceived as tree nuts.
Coconuts differ from other stone fruits due to their unique appearance.
However, biologically they consist of the same features such as consisting of an interior seed coating. What makes the coconut stand out is that the inside is filled with coconut water.
Though originally from Southern Asia, coconuts are cultivated across the world for their unique sweet coconut flesh and its coconut milk.
Dates are a unique fruit that features a dried and shriveled appearance.
When ripe, dates resemble a large raisin due to the reduction of moisture from the fruit. The fruit is produced by the date palm tree which is native to the Middle East.
However, due to its distinctive rich sweetness and sticky texture, dates are cultivated across the world.
Dates are recognized for producing a large sugar content making them a popular ingredient for baking.
Stone fruits, also known as drupes, come in all different shapes and sizes.
Who would have thought that coconuts and raspberries are related… Stone fruits stand to be more interesting than people give them credit for.
From the unique lychee to juicy (not berries) blackberries and raspberries.
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