Apricots may be small, but they’re big on both flavor and nutrition. These yellow-orange fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, with a flavor ranging from sweet to sweet-tart, depending on the variety. The flesh of apricots is soft and somewhat juicy when ripe, and they have a velvety skin with soft fuzz.

Prunus armeniaca originated in China, where it was first cultivated about 4,000 years ago. This delicious stone fruit held high favor with locals, traders, and travelers, so it’s no surprise that it began its journey west along the Silk Road. Over time, apricots began growing across Central Asia and the Middle East.

Apricots reached the Mediterranean about 2,000 years ago, where they flourished in the warm, sunny climate. Today, Turkey and Iran  are the world’s largest producer of apricots.

There are many different apricot varieties to enjoy, the most popular being Blenheim, Tilton, and Moorpark.

A Golden Fruit of History

This golden fruit has been around for more than 4,000 years. Apricots progressively made their way through the Persian Empire to the Mediterranean where they were fondly adopted. Spanish explorers introduced the apricot to the New World, and they were planted in the gardens of Spanish missions all over California. The first recorded major production of apricots in America was in 1792 south of San Francisco.

Most sources also point out the fact that the botanical name is “armeniaca”, which means Romans knew it originated from Armenia.

There is a disturbing legend regarding apricots as a jinx in the military, which apparently derives from canned apricots in U.S. governmental C-rations. In Eastern countries, the apricot is known as “moon of the faithful,” and the ancient Persians referred to the apricot as “egg of the sun.”

Relative to the Peach

The apricot is a relative of the peach, although is a bit smaller than a peach.

Apricots are marketed fresh, dried and packed.

Large quantities of apricots are canned or pulped for making healthful apricot preserves.

Apricot Facts

  • In one ounce apricots contain enough beta carotene to supply 20 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements.
  • Astronauts ate apricots on the Apollo moon mission.
  • Apricots originally were grown in China over 4000 years ago and were brought to California by the Spanish in the late 18th century.
  • California is also the largest producer of apricots.
  • Over half the apricots grown are canned due to their short season.
  • Three and one half ounces of dried apricots can supply four million grams of beta carotene.
  • Dried apricots are over 40 percent sugar.
  • Try and purchase unsulphured dried apricots.
  • Store ripe apricots in the crisper bin of the refrigerator for one to two days.
  • To ripen apricots, place them in a closed paper bag at room temperature.
Apricots Health Benifits

Apricot FAQS

What are apricots known for?

Rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids, apricots are excellent for promoting eye health. Lutein helps to support retina and lens health, while carotenoids and vitamin E support overall vision. Apricot nutrients also help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Where are apricots originally from?

The apricot, which was cultivated in China and Central Asia as early as 2000 B.C., migrated with the country’s traders, who traveled the Great Silk Road. The Chinese merchants, botanist Berthold Laufer suggests, very probably introduced the fruit to the Persians. They called it the “yellow plum” (zardaloo). Widely dispersed, it was spread throughout the Eurasian steppe by nomadic, horseback-riding tribesmen.

Why are apricots bad?

The superstition exists that apricots are a jinx that invite deadly trouble, especially for Marine tanks and their drivers. This may have started during World War II when a platoon of Amphibious Assault Vehicles fell to the Japanese. Supposedly every AAV was sunk and all crewmembers died

What season is apricots?

These fragrant, sweet fruits are in season from May to September. Find out how to buy the best apricots and prepare them, plus what to make with them. A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety skin that ranges from pale yellow to deep orange.

Do apricots make you fart?

Many of these foods contain a complex sugar called raffinose, and/or fructose, both of which can cause gas. And it’s not only vegetables; fruit can also give you gas. Apples, bananas, peaches, pears, apricots and oranges, along with dried fruit, all contain sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol that’s super gassy.

Are apricots winter fruit?

Only buy apricots during the season when they’ve been grown in the U.S. This means late spring through the summer. While apricots can be found in the winter, these will have been grown in South America, Australia or New Zealand and shipped a long distance.

Do apricots make you poop?

Dried fruits, such as dates, figs, prunes, apricots, and raisins, are another great source of dietary fiber that acts as constipation relief. “Prunes, in particular, are great because they not only are high in fiber, they also contain sorbitol, which is a natural laxative,” Prather says.

Can you eat too many apricots?

The fiber in dried fruit has a lot of things going for it. A handful can work like magic if you’re constipated. These sweet treats, though, are also high in a sugar called fructose, which can give you a tummy ache if you eat too much.

Can pregnant ladies eat dried apricot?

Dried Apricots – a good source of iron is needed for the production of red blood cells, iron is a vulnerable nutrient during pregnancy so try adding some chopped apricots to your breakfast or have a couple as a snack.

Can we eat apricot at night?

They are a great evening snack because they have have a fair amount of fibre and they’re one of the few foods that naturally contain melatonin. Illustrated by Louisa Cannell. Not into cherries? Try apricots, which come with a relaxing combination of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fibre.

Is it good to eat apricot everyday?

Apricots are a great source of many antioxidants, including beta carotene and vitamins A, C, and E. What’s more, they’re high in a group of polyphenol antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to protect against illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease

How many apricots are too many?

The Mayo Clinic recommends that women age 50 or younger consume 25 grams of fiber a day; men, aged 50 or younger, should consume 38 grams per day. Just 4 or 5 apricots a day. As many as you can and want too. just be careful with the apricot stones.

Are apricots sweet or sour?

When ripe, they’re sweet like a peach with just a tiny punch of sour flavor (unripe ones will be more sour). Apricots are delicate enough for light snacking, but sturdy enough to be used for cooking and baking.

What climate do apricots grow in?

Apricots are best suited to climates with consistently cold winters and short dry springs. A short period in winter with daytime temperatures in the high 40’s or low 50’s (which happens most winters) can cause Apricots to break dormancy and come into bloom.

How fast do apricot trees grow?

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24″ per year.

Is an apricot a plum?

In fact, although the fruit tree is in the subgenus Prunophors within the genus Prunus together with the plum tree, we know the fruits as apricots. Since plums and apricots fall within the same genus and subgenus, they can be cross-bred

Is an apricot a berry?

Subcategories within the fruit family—citrus, berry, stonefruit or drupe (peaches, apricots), and pome (apples, pears)—are determined by which parts of the flower/ovary give rise to the skin, flesh and seeds. … But no, they’re actually considered a berry, too—with one, giant seed.

Why are apricots so expensive?

Few local growers have apricots to harvest, so they are shipped from California, the source of most apricots, and both time and safe handling preclude picking the fruit at its peak. … Thus the consumer who buys the fruit, not the store, will be saddled with the expensive waste. Color is a good clue.

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