Apricots are back again, brightening up our supermarket displays with their lovely orange colour. Eaten traditionally from June to August, now that they’re back in store, many people have a real treat in store over the summer months!
Unlike other fruit, apricots do not continue to ripen once picked. To make the right choice, go for apricots with nice fleshy fruit that are soft to touch. Another important clue is how they smell. Select fragrant apricots that you feel tempted to eat immediately.
Another useful piece of advice is to eat your apricots straightaway. To fully enjoy their flavour, apricots really need to be eaten soon after purchase. Keep them in a cool, dry place. As a general rule, the advice is that they should be eaten within 2 to 3 days.
You can freeze them if you’d like to be able to eat them in wintertime too. Just cut them in half and remove the stone before storing them in your freezer.
Apricots can be eaten fresh or dried. They are used mainly in sweet dishes such as compotes, jams, tarts or preserved in syrup. However, this delicious fruit also has a role to play in savoury food, as it makes a great accompaniment for duck, rabbit, pork, smoked meat and fish and salads too, such as lamb’s lettuce for example. Apricots combine very well with basil, mint, rosemary and thyme to make tasty dishes. Apricots are also used to make nectars.
Dried apricots are used in oriental food, as an ingredient in delicious tagines. What’s more, athletes eat dried apricots because they’re a good source of energy.
In general, given their sweetness and soft juicy flesh, apricots also find great favour among children, being one of the summer fruits they most love to eat. When cooked down to make a compote, apricots can be a great way too of starting to add variety to an infant’s diet.
Avoid storing apricots in the fridge as they are likely to lose their flavour.