Hybrid fruits and vegetables aren’t the same as heirloom varieties, which are strains that were grown long ago. Hybrids are the result of two common items combined during the growing process to create a new fruit or vegetable. There is some debate regarding the safety of eating hybrid fruits and vegetables, so it pays to understand what’s out there before stocking up. The following options are some of the more common ones.
A tangelo is a combination of a tangerine and a grapefruit. They look like a large orange on the outside, but have a sourer and tarter taste than the average orange. The fruit is super juicy and makes a great choice for a summertime snack. Use tangelos to make fresh juice or smoothies too. Segments of the tangelo taste great in a fruit salad and adds lots of color as well. Tangelos are also one of the easiest hybrid fruits and vegetables to find.
2. Blood Lime
I’m sure you’ve heard of a blood orange, but this is a lot different. A cross between a red finger lime and a mandarin orange, the blood lime is a reddish color on the outside with a dark red flesh on the inside. It’s sweeter than a regular lime and is great for making limeade or garnishing cocktails. Squeeze the juice into key lime pie for a fun new color twist and a great taste.
3. Ingot Carrot
There are tons of hybrid carrots out there, and this is just one of them. They are often brightly colored, including hues from purple to red, and many have a sweeter taste than a traditional carrot. Use them in salads or coleslaw for a fun dose of color and hit a flavor that can’t be beat. Of course, you can also try them plain on a veggie platter or as a healthy side dish to go with your favorite sandwich.
Much like the name implies, rabbage is a cross between a radish and cabbage. If you love cabbage, you’re going to love this version that has a unique color and a bit of a spicy bite to it. Grill rabbages for a side dish or shred them up and put them on fish tacos or in your favorite coleslaw recipe.
I love any kind of berry and this one is no exception. The tayberry is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. They have a sweet, but tart taste and a deep red color that makes them the star of the show. Use tayberries in smoothies or to top cupcakes or brownies during a summer party. You can also toss them into fruit salads or serve them with whipped cream for a cool and refreshing summertime dessert.
A pluot is a delicious combination of plum and apricot. It has the color and texture of a plum, but the subtle flavor of the apricot is present too. These are great as a juicy snack and stand alone as a treat. However, they are also perfect for making cobblers or tarts. You can also toss them on the grill for a yummy ice cream topping.
This hybrid is a mixture of peach, plum and apricot. It’s similar to the pluot, but has a distinctly different flavor. The fruit itself looks like a light red plum, but you won’t mistake it for the traditional once you bite into it. Eat it plan or use it anywhere a stone fruit is called for.
What’s your favorite hybrid fruit or vegetable? Do you feel comfortable eating hybrids?