Apricots and Apriums
Truly from the cradle of civilization, the Apricot was first grown in ancient India around the year 3000 BCE. Ancient Greeks called them “the golden eggs of the sun.” By the 16th century, apricots were successfully cultivated throughout Northern Europe. In the Middle East, where apricots are used extensively both fresh and dried, the fruit’s brief season became the source of an Egyptian saying, “fel meshmesh” or “in the apricot,” used much as English speakers would say “once in a blue moon.” Something is “fel meshmesh” when it’s unlikely to happen because the time for it is so brief. Like cherries, our apricots are here and gone again in the blink of an eye, although some new varieties including the Apache and the Honeyrich aprium have extended our harvest.
As of 2021, we grow and harvest 13 varieties of apricots which includes one aprium variety and one white apricot variety. Our typical apricot harvest runs from mid May to the end of June.
|Apache||The Apache is one of the newest varieties of apricots introduced to growers and was developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service. It’s early off the tree but doesn’t sacrifice any flavor or texture to beat its more popular cous- ins off the branch. Apache’s skin is pinkish-orange, with an orange flesh that is finely textured.|
|Kettleman||Named after the California town near where the variety was bred and tested, the Kettleman is our second apricot variety to come off the tree. A rich golden red, the Kettleman has that bit of tartness that apricot fans love along with a beautiful aroma. Smooth-textured and mildly sweet, the Kettlemans are available early-to-mid May.|
|Honey Rich Aprium||The pluots we grow are the more well known of Floyd Zaiger's work to crossbreed plums and apricots, but the Honey Rich is a prime example of the aprium which most strongly resembles its apricot parentage. Sweet even when the flesh is still crisp, they continue to ripen into soft juicy delicacies. Honey Riches are available mid-May to early June.|
|Katy||Introduced in 1978 and continues to be a popular choice. A red-blushed fruit that is large and firm with a very good flavor. It is an early shipping variety that has low chilling characteristics (Dave Wilson Nursery).|
|Helena||A USDA release apricot. The fruit is large and firm with a sweet flavor and moderate acidity. The skin color is yellow to orange with no blush. It has been known to freckle in wet Springs (Dave Wilson Nursery).|
|Cot N Candy||A white fleshed aprium developed by renowned plant breeder Floyd Zaiger. Characteristic of white fleshed stone fruit, these apriums have a more subtle sweetness than orange varieties, but with notes of honeydew, they are sure to please. These delicate fruits bruise easily, so handle with care.|
|Robada||Our stone fruit season has fully arrived when the Robadas are ready to pick. By then, we've got several varieties coming in from the orchards, and usually the arrival of the Robada apricot and the Bing cherry come hand in hand. A large and robust apricot, the Robada has a particularly vibrant blush that makes the fruit seem to glow on the branch, almost like tiny Japanese lanterns lit from within. Robadas are available late May to early June.|
|Leah Cot Aprium||Developed by Floyd Zaiger, this aprium resembles an apricot with attractive orange skin and a rich apricot flavor. Sweet even when the flesh is still crisp, the Leah Cot continues to ripen into soft juicy delicacies.|
|Country Cot||Large freestone fruit with attractive deep orange skin and flesh. Very balanced acid to sugar ratio with firm flesh. Chef Mario recommends charring the Country Cot on a cast iron pan until burnt. Pair with your favorite ice cream or mascarpone with a touch of local honey!|
|Goldensweet||Following up two of our largest varieties is the Golden Sweet, a smaller apricot that makes up for whatever it lacks in size with its rich flavor. Though we may bake pastries featuring other varieties, the Golden Sweet is our variety of choice for our best-selling apricot conserve. Another California born and bred variety, it has a brilliant golden orange skin with a soft blush. Goldensweets typically harvest from late mid-June to early July.|
|Patterson||Named after the apricot capital of the world - Patterson, California - this apricot is a well loved favorite. Firm, medium-sized and offering sweet delicate flavor, Patterson is well suited for shipping, drying, or fresh use.|
|Goshen Gold||We are so excited about the new Goshen Gold apricot, developed by Craig Ledbetter in 2016. This brightly colored late season fruit hangs well on the tree, allowing sugars maximum time for development. Brixing higher than any other apricot variety on the farm (24!), it is our new favorite in flavor.|