What is Stone Fruit?
As its name implies, stone fruit has a pit or stone in the center of its flesh. The stone itself isn’t a seed. The fruit’s seed is actually inside the stone. Stone fruits are also called drupes and are part of the rose family. Fruits such as apricots, nectarines, cherries, plums, pluots, mangoes, and peaches are all examples of stone fruit. Coconuts, also stone fruits, have a fibrous flesh. Believe it or not, raspberries, blackberries and mulberries are botanically stone fruits. To explain, these berries are aggregates of drupelets. In other words, they are clusters of small stone fruits. The entire fruit can be consumed because the stones are so tiny. An interesting fact is that seeds of some stone fruits are poisonous, hence the protective hard shell. When cooking stone fruit, whether grilled, stewed or roasted, the high heat breaks down the poisonous compound found in some seeds and renders the entire fruit safe.
Stone fruits are not only delicious, they are loaded with health benefits. They are rich in inflammation-fighting phytonutrients and packed with fiber and nutrients like potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K. Stone fruits, naturally sweet, are fairly low in calories. Depending on the fruit, most stone fruits have between 75 and 100 calories per serving. According to the USDA a serving of fruit is defined as 1 cup of fresh fruit, ½ cup dried or 1 cup of fruit juice. With that said, a small fresh plum would only have about 30 calories. Most stone fruits are at their peak during the summer, but options are available year-round at McCaffrey’s.
After purchasing your fruits, make sure you store them properly when you get home from the store:
- Unripe stone fruits should ripen on the kitchen counter out of direct sunlight.
- Ripe stone fruits will be fine for a couple of days on the counter. However, if you will not be enjoying the fruit in the very near future, place the fruit in a plastic bag to prevent the fruit from drying out. Then store the fruit in the refrigerator. The cold air will prevent the fruit from becoming overripe.
According to our Experts, there are some fun and delicious ways to enjoy stone fruit. Click here to find out more!