Apricots: A Rich
history of the California apricot dates back to 4,000 years ago when it was
discovered on the mountain slopes of China. From there, it found its way across
the Persian Empire to the Mediterranean. Spanish missionaries introduced the
apricot to California in the 18th century, and recorded history indicates that
1792 was the year that the first major California crop was produced. By 1920,
the California apricot was flourishing in the Santa Clara Valley. Eventually,
California apricot farms found their way to the San Joaquin Valley after World
War II. Today, California produces over 95% of the apricots grown in the United
Apricots – Superfood!
When it comes to apricots, you may be
tempted to consider them as being too “ordinary” to be considered a
“Superfood”. Think again -- California apricots are a powerful source of
disease fighting agents and are one of the healthiest and most beneficial
fruits available. Because of their high nutrient content, California apricots
address a variety of health concerns - anemia, digestion, eyes and vision, and
even skin problems. The diverse and unique combination of antioxidants in
California apricots makes them an excellent fruit for fighting against heart
disease, cancer, and stroke. Dried apricots have a greater nutritional content
(especially Vitamin A and minerals) than fresh apricots due to their high concentration of nutrients.
The antioxidants caretenoids and phenolics are both abundantly present in
apricots. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin A,
phosphorous, and contain fiber as well as essential minerals in trace amounts.
to studies, apricots are excellent sources of β-carotene, forming 60-70% of the
carotenoid that confers with the orange color on the un-blushed sides of the
fruit. Additionally, the β-carotene and lycopene found in apricots protect LDL
cholesterol from oxidation, which may help to fight against heart disease.
are important not only because of the color they impart but also because they
show protective activity against a variety of degenerative diseases. Apricots
have been described as one of the most important dietary sources of provitamin
A caretenoids – 250g of fresh or 30g of dried apricots (approximately one
serving size) provide nearly all of the recommended daily allowance.
6 Apricot Facts - Did you know?
- Apricots are in the Rosacea (Rose) family – along
with the other stone fruits (such as peaches, cherries, and plums), almonds, strawberries,
raspberries, apples, pears, and of course, roses!
- In a 2005 study, Spanish researchers found
that apricot color has a large influence not only on consumer perception of
quality but also on nutritional recognition for their Vitamin A content.
- Laetrile, a purported alternative
treatment for cancer, is extracted from apricot seeds. As early as the year
502, apricot seeds were used to treat tumors and in the 17th
Century, apricot oil was used in England against tumors and ulcers. However, in
1980, the American National Cancer Institute described laetrile to be
ineffective in the treating of cancer.
- Apricots are very closely related to the
almond (P. dulcis) and the pits of
some of the specially developed hybrids are edible.
- Approximately 20% of California’s total
apricot crop is utilized for drying.
- Turkey is the main producer of dried
apricots, accounting for approximately 85% of the world production
Become an “Apricot
10 different types of dried apricots to thrill your taste buds, we don’t want
you to be overwhelmed by too much of a good thing. This simple information will
help you become an Apricot Epicurean.
Tangy Apricots -
Patterson is our favorite with its sweet yet tangy flavor combination! Contrary
to popular belief, this variety originated in Le Grand, California -- a small
rural town in the San Joaquin Valley. The Patterson was named after another
little rural town, which has been billed the “Apricot Capital of the World”.
The town of Patterson once was the apricot hub in the 1950s when hundreds of
apricot orchards were relocated there from the Santa Clara valley. Our dried
Patterson Apricots surprise each bite with sweet apricot flesh and a rich tangy
skin. (If you’d like to read more about the Patterson variety and it’s
importance to California agriculture, check out the great article written in Good
Fruit Grower here.
Whole Apricots -
apricots so ripe they cannot be sliced in half for fear of squashing them, we
hand-remove the pits and set the whole juicy apricot on drying trays before we
dry them under the sun. Twice as thick as normal, there are no apricots more
chewy and succulent than these. Because of the extremely ripe fruit used to dry
whole apricots, you will find they possess flavorsome apricot tang along with a
light honeyed flavor.
Sweet Dried Apricots -
Apricots are dried from the Golden State’s Blenheim varieties and emit a
mellower tang and delectably sweet flavor. These are often called a “vintage
variety” and are one of the most highly-coveted varieties in the state!
Extra Value Apricots
smallest apricots are separated from each batch and offered at a great price
resulting in the name “Extra Value”. Each bite-size slice bursts with zesty and
of our apricot fans want to know – “What
does the term “slab” mean? Are these a variety?” Slab is a type of dried
apricot that is so ripe when cut it can’t maintain its round figure. They
dry in the shape of flat chewy slabs -- usually thicker on one end and thinner
on the other. The Slabs are a bit sticky with a lush fruity apricot tang that
melts with each savory bite.
Natural (no sulfur)
at the ingredient list and all you’ll see is the word "Apricots” – plain
and simple! The halves are dried naturally without preservatives resulting in
darker skin and tougher flesh. Dried fruit aficionados know these dark dried
apricots deliver sweet earthy flavor and mild apricot tang.
in flavor and appearance to the Natural (no sulfur) Apricots, these ‘cots are
grown organically according to CCOF
standards. These are also dried naturally without preservatives resulting in
darker skin and tougher flesh. Aficionados of dried fruit know these dark dried
apricots deliver sweet earthy flavor and mild apricot tang.
orange Mediterranean gems imported from Turkey are dried whole, making them
very thick. Each succulent apricot provides a tropical, peachy flavor.
organically and dried without preservatives, these succulent dark Turkish
Apricots emit an earthy, sweet, peachy flavor.
year, we started drying the White Apricot, which created quite the buzz. Even
Martha Stewart is a fan, which you can read more about in an article in the San
Francisco Chronicle. In 1976, a small bag of apricot seeds (or kernels)
made its way from Iran to Californian Ross Sanborn, a retired UC Davis Farm
Advisor and plant breeder. With the seeds, Ross spent the later years of his
life perfecting his vision of a firm, white apricot. It is the only California
Apricot without tang, emitting smooth nectarous and floral flavors -- like
nothing we’ve ever tasted. We thought they’d be good dried, but we were
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