Stone Fruit or a Drupes as they are sometimes referred usually has a single seed in the centre of a fleshy (fruit) outer protective covering. Stone fruit are nutritious and typically rich in Antioxidant vitamins particularly Vitamin C.
The flesh of Stone fruit is designed to protect the seed as it develops, it also acts as an attracting agent for birds and animals who eat the fruit and pass the seed out in their faeces ready to sprout.
For the purpose of this article we are looking at Stone fruit of the Prunus Species – apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, and plum. Plants of the Prunus genus are members of the Rosaceae family.
Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)
Apricots are rich in carbohydrates and fibre. They are low in fat and a good source of protein. Apricots provide an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C and are a good source of Iron.
Apricots are a seasonal fruit and can be purchased in cans or as dried apricots. Apricots are commonly found it health bars and slices and make an excellent fresh snack or can be mixed through puddings and deserts.
Cherry (Prunus avium.)
Nutritionally, Cherries are a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Carbohydrates.
Cherries are delicious off the tree and can be added to many slices and flavouring in other dishes. Traditional Christmas pudding would not be the same without cherries.
Nectarine and Peach (Prunus persica)
Nectarines are very similar to the Peach. There is also a cross, called a Peacharine.
Nectarines and peaches are high in Carbohydrates and are a good source of Dietary Fibre. They are Low fat and Low Protein. They are a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Potassium.
Plum (Prunus Sp.)
Plums are a soft flesh fruit with a thin skin. There are several species and varieties ranging from Cherry size plums to large plums the size of an Apricot. Dried plus are typically sold as Prunes and are well known for their high fibre content and related digestive system maintenance.
Plums are an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Phosphorous and Potassium.
Interesting Facts about Drupes
Traditional Stone fruit is popular in many countries around the world. It is interesting to note that many fruits not normally considered a stone fruit in fact are. The Coconut, Walnuts, Coffee, Olives and Mango are all recognised as Drupes. Aggregate Fruit such as Blackberry and Raspberry are a collection of multiple drupes, which form a singular fruit.
Most drupe fruits can be dried and sold all year round. Dried Apricots, Prunes, Coconut (desiccated), Coffee, Walnuts, Cherries and others. This is ideal for export fruit as most fruit begins to decay quickly when picked.