The Apricot is part of the Rose family. Originating in China apricots spread throughout the middle east and Europe. Apricots are used in European cuisines as well as in savoury middle eastern dishes. Although a number of different varieties are commercially grown in Australia they are not distinguished for the consumer by variety.
Selection, Storage and Availability
Different varieties of apricots have different colouring and both pale and dark fruit can be delicious. You really need to try and apricot before you can determine the flavour so ask your greengrocer for assistance. Apricots have a shorter season than peaches and nectarines and are fragile so it can be hard to find good fruit. Buy ripe or ripen at home preferably in the refrigerator. The apricot season is short running from November-February. When fresh apricots are not available choose good quality dried fruit.
Eat fresh with the skin on or remove seed and poach whole or halved in a sugar syrup. Where the flavour of fresh apricots are lacking poaching is an excellent way to increase the flavour and improve texture.
Apricots are low fat and high in Vitamin A and C.