Apricots - like peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries - belong to a group called stone fruit, because they have a tough, inedible seed (stone) in the centre.
Apricots originally were grown in China over 4000 years ago and were brought to California by the Spanish in the late 18th century.California is also the largest producer of apricots.
Apricots contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C,potassium, iron, phosphorus and calcium.
Apricots are a good source ofdietary fiber with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the skin and soluble pectins in the flesh.
Over half the apricots grown are canned due to their short season.
The apricot's creamy golden color comes from deep yellow carotenes (including beta-carotene) that make the fruit a good source of vitamin A.
To ripen apricots, place them in a closed paper bag at room temperature.Pick apricots that are soft but not too mushy. Soft means they are ripe and should be eaten right away. If they are a little harder they can ripen at home. Apricots should be golden orange in colour.
The most nutritious way to serve apricot is when it is dried. Dried apricots are richer in nutrients and fiber than those of fresh apricots.