Apricots are a wonderful fruit that are full of nutritional value. Here is what Men’s Health magazine has to say about the health benefits of fresh apricots. And from our past posts, we all know that dried fruit have all the same nutritional value as fresh fruit. But, not all dried apricots are created equally. Here is everything that you will need to know to make sure you pick the right dried apricot for your needs.
What kinds of apricots are there?
Dried apricots come in 2 main varieties, California and Turkish. These are obviously grown in different places, but there are other differences in color, flavor, and preparation.
California apricots, while local, are less common. The amount of farmland devoted to apricots has declined drastically since the 1920s. This has made the California apricot a bit harder to find. This is also one of the reasons that having dried apricots is a an advantage over fresh apricots, as they are available and ready to eat year-round.
California Apricots (pictured above) have a darker orange color compared the more yellow-orange Turkish Apricot. One of the other clear differences, is that the Turkish apricot is dried whole (without the pit) while the California apricot is halved. You will notice the difference most in uniformity of texture. The California apricots tend to have more curves, ripples, and shapes than the mostly uniform Turkish apricots.
The flavors of both kinds of apricots is absolutely delicious, so it is hard to pick the wrong dried apricot to cook with or on which to snack. The Turkish Apricot variety has a slightly sweeter flavor, and the California Apricots tend to be less sweet, but have intense “apricot” tart flavor.
Preparation options for apricots
Apricots are generally dried with preservatives. The preservative that comes on most apricots is called sulphur dioxide; this is used to preserve color and freshness. Fortunately, once the bag is left open for a few minutes, most of this compound dissipates. This is great if you have sensitivity, but also means that the apricots will start to lose their color and freshness more quickly once opened.
There is also an option to get your apricots diced instead of whole. This is a great option for people that are making baked goods or trail mixes where they want a small bit of apricot in every bite.
Whichever apricot you choose, Napa Nuts has the highest quality whole and diced Turkish and California Apricots. Please visit our store to purchase Apricots.