Apricots are small to medium-sized hand fruits, plum-sized at most. They are yellow to orange, with smooth or slightly velvety skin. They have loose, fairly smooth pits. When ripe, an apricot is very soft but not mushy. They are easy to bruise and do not keep well.
Most apricots are picked while very unripe, and never develop much apricot flavor. When fresh apricots aren't in season, dried apricots are often available. They may be treated with sulfur dioxide, which preserves their orange color, or untreated. Softer dried apricots will have more water and slightly less intense flavor than tougher ones. Which to use will depend on personal preference and the recipe.
Freeze-dried apricots are crunchy and extremely sweet.
Apricots may be used fresh, dried, freeze-dried, or used in cooking. They are commonly used in jam. To cut an apricot, slice around its seam, twist it in half, and gently lift out the pit.
|Seasonality tables|Autumn|Winter|Spring|Summer|All year|
In North America, Apricots are available throughout the year from different regions:
Apricots are very delicate fruits which need a mild climate. In Austria the Wachau valley provides ideal conditions for their growth. In spring, which is the blossoming season of apricot trees, the valley turns white with its flowers. In July there are various festivals throughout the region celebrating the harvest of apricots.