Apricots have a short production season but are a popular summer fruit. Their small size makes them a perfect snack for eating whole. The vast majority of U.S.-grown apricots are grown in California.
History Of Apricots
Apricots originated in China and were introduced to the United States by Spanish explorers. The first commercially produced apricots were grown south of SanFrancisco in 1792.
Apricot Varieties Availability
Apricots are available from California from late spring through mid-summer and from Washington from mid-summer through early fall. Chilean fruit is available during the off-season.
There are many different varieties of apricots, but they are fairly indistinguishable to consumers at retail.
Apricot Preparation and Uses
Apricots are most often eaten out of hand like a peach or nectarine. Apricots should be washed and can be eaten whole. Apricots can also be sliced off the pit and eaten. Apricots can be halved and filled with cream cheese and nuts and served as an appetizer. Apricots can also be used as a topping or a sweet ingredient in salads.
Enjoy the taste of apricots year-round by freezing fresh product when it is in season. Halve or slice the apricot and freeze them in syrup made from water, sugar and ascorbic acid.
Apricots can be used like many other stone fruits in pies, cobblers and breakfast cakes. When using apricots in a pie or cobbler, slice and add sugar before adding to the pie.
Apricots are a fruity addition to stuffing and can be used to make wine or brandy. Apricots are also tasty when made into syrup.
1 lb. = 3 cups sliced apricots.
1 lb. large = 12 to 14 apricots
Apricots: handling, storage & care
Apricots should be stored at room temperature until ripe. Refrigerating apricots before they reach the desired ripeness will stop the ripening process. Apricots can be placed in a paper bag to speed up ripening.
U.S. No. 1
U.S. No. 2
Minimum size, numerical count or description of the pack must be marked on the exterior of the fruit container.
All volume-fill fruit from California must be packed only in 24-lb. containers. The number that makes up 1 pound of fruit identifies the fruit in those containers.
Small = 18 or more
Medium = 16
Large = 14
Extra large = 12
Jumbo = 10
Extra jumbo = 8
XX jumbo = 7
Sizes 6, 5 and 4 now are available because of larger varieties coming to market. Tray-packs, or Panta-Paks, will continue to be identified by the actual count per box. Boxes packed under the current row-count designation will remain unchanged.
Apricots, like other orange fruits and vegetables, are high in beta carotene. Apricots are also fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C and a good source of potassium.
Serving Size 3 apricots (114 g)
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.|
Apricot Fun Facts
- Apricot trees generally grow to be 12 to 15 feet tall and will produce fruit for 20 to 25 years.
- In Latin, apricot means precious. It probably refers to the fact that apricots ripen earlier than other summer fruit.