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California Fresh Apricots

Contributed by: News Canada

Shopping Tip - How to Pick Sweet and succulent apricots that offer taste of summer

(NC) - Savor the first taste of summer with fresh ripe California apricots. Flavorful and irresistible, apricots, fresh from California orchards, are only available in markets from early May through the 4th of July. Full of healthy nutrients and vitamin C, tasty apricots makes it easy to enjoy 2 or more servings of fresh fruit each day.

    California Fresh Apricots
  • Select plump, well-formed fruit.
  • Expect seven to twelve pieces per pound; size varies with the variety.
  • Apricots are ripe when they give lightly to the touch.
  • Colors range from deep yellow to blushing, golden-orange.
  • To ripen, place apricots in a closed paper bag and check daily until soft to the touch. Fragrance deepens as apricots become ripe.

Don't let the short peak growing season, about 8 weeks, pass you by. For more information and recipes, www.califapricot.com.

Availability: May through July

Flavor: Sweet and slightly tangy

Color: Blushing golden orange

Ripe When: Gives slightly to the touch

Varieties: Over 10 varieties of fresh California apricots. Common varieties include:

  • Castlebrite - early season and largest volume variety produced.
  • Katy - early to mid-season variety. Known for its excellent flavor.
  • Patterson - mid-to-late season variety; one of the largest apricots grown.

Storage: Ripe apricots, if not used immediately, should be refrigerated.

To ripen overly firm apricots, hold at room temperature in a closed paper bag.

Yield: 8 to 12, or 3 cups sliced, fresh apricots to a pound.

Handling: Ripe apricots are fairly fragile, and should be handled with care.

Enjoy freshly picked. Firm, ripe apricots can be baked, poached, grilled or sautéed. Soft, ripe apricots can be made into jams, sorbets and sauces.

To peel an apricot, submerge in boiling water for 20 seconds; cool quickly in cold water and remove skin.

For more information and delicious recipes, visit www.califapricot.com.


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