No stone unturned: all you need to know about stone fruit

Juicy, sweet and good for you. What’s not to love?

What is stone fruit?

A stone fruit, also known as a drupe, is any fruit with a large stone inside – this includes plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, cherries, mangoes and lychees. They are popular for their crisp sweet flesh and culinary versatility.

Where do they come from?

At Spinneys, most of our stone fruit (plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines) is sourced from Fruits Unlimited, a leading South African producer since 2001, which focuses on top-class fruit and eating excellence – the company is passionate about quality and exciting new varieties, all grown sustainably in South Africa’s unique microclimate.

Are they good for you?

As with all fruit, stone fruit offer plenty of health benefits. Unpeeled, they are a rich source of fibre (which helps with muscle function, regularity and keeping cholesterol down) and most contain decent levels of potassium, carotene, vitamins C, K and A – in fact, if you’re suffering from banana boredom, it’s useful to know that two small peaches offer more potassium than a banana.

Cherries also contain antioxidants, important for good health. In their dried form as prunes, plums, like apricots and cherries, provide lots of fibre and are a good addition to sweet and savoury recipes.

How to use them

Great straight from the fruit bowl, stone fruit lends itself to roasting, poaching or sautéing, while they are also lovely as fillings for pies and crumbles, tossed through salads, turned into jams or used in a sauce.

For delicious desserts:

Try a traditional cherry and almond cobbler or cherry Bakewell tarts with whipped vanilla cream. Classics are given a twist with pavlova with roasted plums while sweet stone fruit stacks and apricot aniseed and vanilla granita are refreshing and pretty.

For something savoury:

Use stone fruit in dishes such as this peach, mozzarella and avocado salad with basil-mint dressing, spatchcocked Caesar chicken with peach and parmesan salad or roast lamb rack with sticky ginger plums.

For an early morning treat:

Turn breakfast on its head and enjoy frozen yogurt granola slices with honey-poached fruit.

Buying tips: what to put in your basket

Choose fruit with deeply coloured smooth skin, but don’t reject those with small speckles: these sugar spots indicate extra sweetness. And if plums have a dusty bloom, they are ready to eat. At home, keep stone fruit at room temperature stem-side down and only store in the fridge once fully ripe (peaches and nectarines give off a floral aroma). If fruit is in the fridge, bring it to room temperature before eating so that you get its full flavour.

Win a holiday to South Africa!

To inspire you to enjoy our superb stone fruit, why not enter our competition with Taste South Africa Plums? All you have to do is answer one simple question and you could be jetting off on a wonderful five-day holiday to South Africa’s Western Cape, complete with trips to Table Mountain, game viewing and return flights from Dubai.