Fruit – Vegetable – Tropical Fruits
The homeland of the apricot is China and the highlands between the Caspian and Black Seas, which are now part of present day Iran and Turkey.
The apricot is counted among choice fruit along with peaches and nectarines. Apricots are 4 - 8 cm, spherical to oval drupes.The skin is rough to velvety and sometimes smooth. They have light yellow to orange-yellow colour that may also be sun-laterally reddened. From the stem to the starting point of the pistil runs the apricots characteristic seam, which divides the fruit into two fruit-cheeks. The pulp is coloured white, yellow or intensively orange and easily separates from the stone.
Apricots are juicy, extremely savoury and aromatic.
The bulk of the world production comes from countries with warmer climates, such as Spain, Italy, France, Israel, California and Greece. Other countries with healthy cultivation are Pakistan, Iran, Ukraine, Morocco, China, USA, South Africa and so forth.
From May to September, apricots are imported from the Mediterranean. The season opens in Spain at the start of May. During the height of season, France, Greece and Italy are the major suppliers. The end of the season is late August or early September.
Apricots are exceptionally valuable due to the enormously high portion of the immune-strengthening Beta-carotene, the precursor for vitamin A. In addition, apricots provide — besides the mineral nutrients calcium, potassium, phosphorus and iron — high levels of niacin (for helping the nerves deal with stress), folic acid (for haematopoieses and cell growth), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5 for improved vigour, beautiful hair and the catabolism of fat), vitamin A and vitamin C (for the immune system).