Apricots are beautiful little, cheerfully bright orange morsels rich in body-loving beta-carotene. A little peach-like, a little plum-like, yet velvety, a bit musky, tart yet smooth while sweet, they lend themselves beautifully to being brandies or liqueurs.
These early Middle Eastern, European treasures were first produced heavily by Turkey, Italy, Russia, Spain and Greece with California, France, South Africa, Chile and Argentina rapidly challenging this. In all, there are over ten varieties of apricots. Their trees can live as long and as 100 years, but the apricot fruit perishes rapidly.
Historically, apricots were first heard of 4,000 years ago in China, then recorded in the Persian, now Iranian, culture soon afterward. Because they dry so well, they traveled well to new regions. This rapidly made them a staple of the Egyptian diet, and once they spread in popularity westward to the United Kingdom, it was only a matter of time before they reached the New World. Apricots attracted the attention of Thomas Jefferson by 1778, and he made sure apricot trees were part of his Monticello agricultural scene.
Apricots are rich in vitamin A, B6, C, beta-carotene, niacin, potassium and iron.
Selection of good apricots has usually been done for us when we buy them dried in boxes. Be sure to choose a brand where the apricots are dried, yet moist, and keep them tightly sealed in a dry place. Canned apricots are also available, but the dried are tastier.
Eat apricots just as they come from the box. They are equally delicious inserted into some of the following.
Accented by garlic, basil cumin, curry, nutmeg
Pureed as fat substitute in cooking
Foodsites with apricot recipes.