apricot

Pronunciation: [AP-rih-kot; AYP-rih-kot]

This fruit of ancient lineage has been grown in China for more than 4,000 years. It now thrives in most temperate climates, with California producing about 90 percent of the American crop. A relative of the peach, the apricot is smaller and has a smooth, oval pit that falls out easily when the fruit is halved. There are many varieties of apricot throughout the world, including Riland, Tilton, Blenheim, Royal and Chinese. In color, the skin can range anywhere from pale yellow to deep burnt orange; the flesh from a golden cream color to brilliant orange. Because they're highly perishable and seasonal, 90 percent of the fresh apricots are marketed in June and July. When buying apricots, select plump, reasonably firm fruit with a uniform color. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three to five days. Depending on size, there are 8 to 12 apricots per pound. Dried apricots are pitted, unpeeled apricot halves that have had a large percentage of the moisture removed. They're usually treated with sulfur dioxide to preserve their color. In addition to being rich in vitamin A, dried apricots are a valuable source of iron and calcium. The kernels of the apricot pits are used in confections and to flavor liqueurs. Like bitter almonds, apricot kernels are poisonous until roasted.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Popular Recipes with Apricot

More Apricot Recipes + Ideas

Pineapple-Apricot Glaze

Apricot and Salami Scones

Apricot and Walnut Phyllo Cups

25-Minute Unstuffed Pork Chops

Prosciutto, Brie and Apricot Crostini

Spicy Duck Sauce

Chicken Apricot Panini

Fennel Salad with Apricots

Apricot Cranberry Muffins

Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Harissa

Apricot and Tequila Glazed Turkey

Pretzel Crusted Cod with Apricot Dijon Sauce

Sweet and Spicy Apricot BBQ Chicken Thighs

Chicken Tajine

Cookie Butter and Apricot Icebox Cake

Gameplan: American Wine and Cheese Party

Upside-down Apricot Peach Cakes

Figs in a Blanket

Apricot-Plum Galette with Cream Cheese and Pistachios

Spiced Prune Rugelach

Glazed Smoked Ham

Keep Reading

Next Up

Market Watch: Apricots

Make the most of these sweet gems while they're in season.

In Season: Apricots

You can enjoy dried apricots all year long, but fresh apricots only hit the market for a short time. Get your hands on some while you still can, and try them in these dishes.

Apricots with Honey-Ginger Ricotta and Pistachios

These sweet-and-savory stuffed apricots make a quick healthy snack, appetizer or dessert.

Quinoa Salad with Apricots, Basil and Pistachios — Meatless Monday

If the shift to warmer temperatures outside has you craving all manner of cool, light eats inside, then look no further than a simple salad — but not just an everyday green salad.

Apricot Glazed Lamb Chops With Pistachio and Sumac — Editor's Pick

Food Network's Senior Culinary Editor picks her favorite recipe for September.

Marcela Valladolid's White Chocolate-Apricot-Oatmeal Cookies — 12 Days of Cookies

These cinnamon-laced oatmeal cookies are perfect for a holiday cookie swap.