ApricotsSpring has had a long, slow start, but the beginning of the stone fruits have arrived! This means summer is around the corner. And, the apricots are at our store and they are delicious!

Apricots thrive in Mediterranean climates with warm, dry conditions—nearly 90 percent of the commercial apricot production for the U.S. happens in California. Apricots are the first fruit trees to flower in the spring and the first stone fruits to hit our shelves. Apricots soften rapidly, leading to bruising when picking or shipping. So, growers harvest apricots when they’re still firm to avoid injury to the fruit. Therefore, the fruit in the stores may not yet be at its best flavor.

Look for fruits that have a deep orange-gold color rather than those that are pale orange or yellow. They should be plump and firm, with just a little softness to them. If they’re hard, they’re not ripe—if they’re squishy, they’ve gone too far. Ripe apricots have a lovely, unmistakable floral fragrance, so give them the sniff test.

Apricots can be kept for a short period at room temperature, or one to three weeks in the refrigerator.

We have sorted through our archive and found our favorite recipes of ideas for what you can do with these little jewels besides biting in and eating them straight.

Grilled Apricot and Ricotta Tartine
A salad of cherry tomatoes and grilled apricots is spooned over creamy ricotta for these open-face sandwiches.

Fresh Cherry & Apricot Clafoutis
Clafoutis is a baked French dessert of fruit arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm, sometimes with cream.

Spiced Mango Apricot Cocktail
If you are looking for an alcoholic beverage that pairs perfectly with Indian flavors, you have to try this Spiced Mango-Apricot Cocktail. It hints at the flavors of a mango lassi, but with a grown-up twist.

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