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 carotenoids 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. According to studies, apricots are excellent sources of ß-carotene, forming 60-70% of the carotenoid that confers with the orange color on the un-blushed sides of the fruit. Additionally, the ß-carotene and lycopene found in apricots protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help to fight against heart disease. Carotenoids 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 carotenoids – 250g of fresh or 30g of dried apricots (approximately one serving size) provide nearly all of the recommended daily allowance.
The 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 States.
With 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.
The 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.
Using 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 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!
The 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 tart flavors.
Many 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.
Look 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.
Identical 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.
Bright orange Mediterranean gems imported from Turkey are dried whole, making them very thick. Each succulent apricot provides a tropical, peachy flavor.
Grown organically and dried without preservatives, these succulent dark Turkish Apricots emit an earthy, sweet, peachy flavor.
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 wrong--they’re FANTASTIC!