WHAT IS AN APRICOT?
This stone fruit was born in China and then traveled the world with various colonizing powers. Alexander the Great introduced it to the Greeks. Settlers from England brought this plant with them when colonizing the East Coast of the States. On the West Coast it was introduced in the early 1700s by Spanish missions. These trees can grow up to almost 40 feet (12 meters) in height. Apricots also bruise less easily then peaches for example, making them a bit hardier and easier to handle.
WHY ARE APRICOTS GOOD FOR YOU?
They are a great source of minerals like copper and potassium! Apricots are also rich in fiber and vitamins A and C. If you have failing eyesight, this fruit contains carotenoids and xanthophylls which can help. However note that when this fresh fruit is canned, some of the nutritional benefits are lost.
WHEN ARE APRICOTS IN SEASON?
They tend to be an April through July crop in the northern hemisphere, and December through February down south (of the equator).
HOW SHOULD APRICOTS BE STORED?
As with other stone fruits, you can store them at room temperature until they are ripe. Then keep them in your refrigerator to prolong their ideal state. If the fruit is very young, using a paper bag to accelerate ripening at room temperature will work as well.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CUT AN APRICOT?
The knife technique is the same as with a peach, click here to see!
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PEACH AND AN APRICOT?
While all three are stone fruit cousins, there are some differences. In most recipes peaches and nectarines can be used interchangeably, but peaches and apricots cannot. Peaches are larger, fuzzier and sweeter versus their bald relative the apricot. Apricots are smaller, less juicy and less sweet as well. This is why they are preferable to peaches in baking and dessert dishes. Their sourness creates a great flavor counterpoint to other sweet ingredients like sugar.