General Information

APRICOTS TODAY

Fresh, ripe, well-displayed California apricots are irresistible. And while their peak season is short, consumer demand is growing. The average size of the fresh crop is up to 1.5 million 24-pound packages, so you can make the most of those glorious weeks we know as the apricot season.

Over four hundred growers produce apricots from orchards covering 21,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley and northern California. About 95 percent of the apricots grown in the U.S. come from California. Many different varieties grow in California, each with special characteristics. The most prevalent varieties are the Pattersons, Blenheims, Tiltons, and Castlebrites. Growers continually experiment with new varieties that deliver sweet, juicy flavor and ship or process well.

WHERE TO BUY CALIFORNIA APRICOTS

FACTS & TIPS

Apricots can be halved or sliced then frozen in syrup made from 2 cups sugar to 5 cups water; add 2 ounces ascorbic acid for each 2 1/2 cups syrup. Plunge the whole apricots into boiling water for about thirty seconds, and peel, pit and halve or slice.

Apricots can be made into wine and brandy.

They are one of the best natural sources of Vitamin A, especially when dried. Essential for healthy skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin A is also needed for good sight; insufficient amounts can cause night blindness, impair sight and increase susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. Although it is one of the few vitamins which we can theoretically build up to toxic levels, this doesn't normally happen if it is taken naturally.

HISTORY

Apricots originally hailed from China. Cuttings of this golden fruit made their way across the Persian Empire to the Mediterranean where they flourished. The Spanish explorers get credit for introducing the apricot to the New World, and specifically to California, where they were planted in the gardens of Spanish missions. In 1792, in an area south of San Francisco, the first major production of apricots was recorded.

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California Apricots