Apricot varieties

Many varieties of apricots are grown in the Middle and Near East, especially in Turkey. In the United States, most apricots are grown in California, as they do not thrive as well on the East Coast. Among the more common varieties of apricot are the Derby, Moorpark, Royal, and Tilton. In California, two plum/apricot hybrids are sold under the names “plumcot” and “aprium.”

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Buying and storage tips

Choose plump and juicy apricots that are not too soft. Their deep orange color does not necessarily guarantee ripeness, although those with deeper color are likely to be riper than pale yellow or green ones.The best apricots often have a tempting aroma. Avoid fruit with cracks in the skin, or that shows white spots, which indicate mold. Handle apricots tenderly as they bruise easily, and bruising causes rapid spoiling. Lemon juice prevents the flesh from darkening after slicing. After the central stone is removed, the fruit can be frozen in slices or puréed. Dried apricots can be found at the market more often than fresh ones, and they work well in many recipes.

Apricot availability

Apricots are in season from late May through early August, peaking in June and July. Canned and dried apricots are available year-round.

Preparation, uses, and tips

Apricots can be eaten fresh, or cooked, canned, candied, or stewed, just like peaches or nectarines. They can be used in pies, cakes, sorbets, yogurt, crepes, jams, and chutneys. Since apricots do not ship well, they are usually picked too soon, hampering their maturation into full flavor.Using them dried may be preferable in areas out of their growing range. It is best to soak dried fruit in filtered boiling water before serving. Apricot seed kernels can be made into brandies and liqueurs.

Nutritional Highlights

Apricot, 2 apricots (raw)
Calories: 34
Protein: 0.98g
Carbohydrate: 7.8g
Total Fat: 0.27g
Fiber: 1.68g
*Good source of: Vitamin C (7mg)

 

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