Ranging from warm yellow to bright orange, ripe apricots taste exactly of their color.
The apricot season on the East Coast is very short, ranging from late June through early August. Apricots prefer climates with cold winters to bring about dormancy in the plants but flower early in the spring, causing them to be susceptible to spring frosts. Closely related to peaches and plums, apricots are small and juicy fruits with velvety skin (much like a peach without the fuzz). Apricots are high in anti-oxidants, beta carotene and fiber, making them the ideal snack!
Apricots taste best when tree-ripened–look for locally grown apricots that haven’t had to travel far distances to reach the grocery store. Apricots without any green—all orange or with just a blush of red– are ideal. Green apricots have been picked too early and likely will not ripen. Ripe apricots will be firm to the touch with a little give. Perfectly ripe apricots are very easy to eat–twist gently at their “seam” and they will split in half. If you’ve missed the ideal eating window don’t despair, use them in sauces, baked goods or anything that needs moisture and extra flavor!
Ripe apricots can store in the vegetable crisper for 2-3 days. Place unripe fruit in a paper bag with the top folded and down and leave to ripen. Otherwise store slightly unripe apricots at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for up to 5 days.