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While crossing an apricot with a plum creates both the pluot and the aprium, there are a few subtle differences between the two fruits. Some of the differences have to do with the exact genetic construction of each hybrid fruit. There are also subtle differences in the look and the taste of pluots and apriums that are readily apparent to anyone familiar with both fruits.
The pluot is a very sweet fruit, having the general shape of a plum. The skin has a speckled appearance that is somewhat unique. Depending on the particular variety of the pluot, the colors will change. Varieties such as the Flavor Royal will have a dark purple skin, while the Crimson Sweet will have a red or crimson skin. There are a number of different varieties of pluots, with most of them appearing in stores during the summer months and remaining available well into the autumn.
Creating pluots involves using a comprehensive cross breeding process to achieve just the right balance to produce the fruit. A pluot is composed roughly of three parts plum to one part apricot. The 75% plum composition helps to account for the fact that the pluot tends to be sweeter than the aprium.
Apriums are also genetically engineered fruits. Like the pluot, the aprium is also created using an eclectic mix of plums and apricots. However, the mixture is somewhat different than the pluot. An aprium is composed of three parts apricot to one part plum. Essentially, this makes the aprium the exact opposite of the pluot in terms of the composition of the raw material used to create the hybrid.
The aprium also tends to be sweet, although not always as sweet as some of the pluot varieties. The season of availability is also somewhat shorter than the pluot. While pluots are available from early summer to the latter part of autumn, the aprium is mainly available in June or July.
Of the two hybrids, the pluot tends to be more readily available in many supermarkets throughout the United States. However, as of 2008, the aprium was beginning to enjoy wider distribution. In time, the aprium may achieve a popularity that is equal to that of the better known pluot.