When plum meets apricot, you get a Metis

When plum meets apricot, you get a Metis

By Isabella Bradford

We all know that disappointing feeling when you pick up a punnet of plums from the supermarket only to get home, take a bite and taste nothing but sour skin and watery fruit.

Cue Metis (pronounced meh-tees), a new fruit hailing from Spain. In September 2017, I visited southern Spain to learn more about the newest addition to the stone fruit family. I was not disappointed.

Metis-orchard-v2

Grown on a beautiful orchard just outside of Seville, Metis fruit are bigger, sweeter and more fragrant than a normal plum or apricot. They were created when the Glen Bradford family of California – who were previously known for farming peaches and nectarines – started a programme of agricultural research with the University of Florida. Their goal was to create a fruit which would be more consistent and reliable in flavour, size and texture.

Metis-mix-v2

Years later, they finally discovered the perfect fruit – an apricot-plum hybrid, called a Metis.

Local farmers use as little pesticides as possible to grow the fruit. Instead, they keep large birds near the orchards to combat pests, or hang insect traps from the trees.

Using bees for natural cross-pollination, the farmers were able to mix fruit with different tastes, colours and sizes. The result is four varieties of Metis: Oxy, Tonic, Safari and Aroma. Each type is available for harvest at different times of year.

Metis-fruit-v2

What does a Metis taste like?
The firm peel of a Metis tastes sharp, similar to an under-ripe plum, but the inside has a rich honey-like sweetness. Don’t be put off by the harder skin, this simply keeps them more protected in your lunchbox, take one bite and you’ll reveal a soft, juicy centre.

Fancy cooking with this plum-apricot hybrid? Try this sticky custard tray cake or this plum and almond sponge cake recipe.

 

Metis® are available from Tesco, Asda and Morrisons.

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