When are apricots in season? This is a question you may be asking yourself as summer approaches. Here’s everything you need to know about apricot season, from where they grow, to when to expect their prime to how to use them.
Apricots are typically in season between late spring and early summer, varying depending on the region and climate. During this time, you can find these juicy summer stone fruits at local farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and select grocery stores. Keep an eye out for apricot orchards or consider growing your own tree for a delightful and fresh apricot experience.
Where do Apricots Grow?
Apricots are primarily grown in regions with a Mediterranean climate, including countries like Turkey, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the United States (particularly California). These regions provide the ideal conditions for apricot trees to thrive, with warm summers and mild winters. However, apricot cultivation is not limited to these areas, you can also find apricot trees in various other countries around the world where the climate supports their growth.
California, particularly the Central Valley, is renowned for its apricot production. The sunny days and moderate temperatures of late spring and early summer provide optimal conditions for the fruit to grow and mature.
When Is Apricot Season?
Apricot season refers to the time of year when apricots are at their peak freshness and flavor. While the exact timing of apricot season can vary depending on the region and climate, it generally falls between late spring and early summer.
Apricots typically come into season in California and other Mediterranean climates in late May. This is when the trees bear fruit, and the apricots start to ripen. The specific timing can vary slightly depending on weather conditions and the specific variety of apricot.
Late May marks the beginning of the apricot season, and it continues through July. During this period, you can find an abundance of fresh and ripe apricots in local markets, grocery stores, and even at some farms where you may be able to pick your own. The peak season for apricots is usually in June when the fruit is at its sweetest and juiciest.
It’s worth noting that the exact timing of apricot season may vary slightly from year to year, influenced by factors such as climate fluctuations and agricultural practices. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check with local sources or farmers’ markets to get the most accurate information on when apricots are in season in a specific location.
Overall, if you’re a fan of apricots and looking to enjoy them at their freshest and most flavorful, start looking for them in late May and enjoy them through the summer.
Ways to Use Apricots
1. Fresh Apricots Straight from the Tree
One of the greatest joys of the apricot season is the opportunity to savor these fruits straight from the tree. Imagine plucking a ripe apricot, feeling its velvety skin in your hands, and taking a juicy bite. The sweetness mixed with a subtle tartness is an experience like no other. If you have the chance to visit an apricot orchard during the season, don’t miss out on this adventure.
2. Baking with Apricots
Apricots are a fantastic addition to your baking repertoire during their season. Their natural sweetness and tanginess make them perfect for pies, tarts, and cakes. Try incorporating fresh apricots into your favorite recipes or explore new ones that highlight the flavors of this delightful fruit. Apricot crumbles, apricot galettes, and apricot upside-down cakes are just a few delicious ideas to get you started.
3. Preserving the Goodness
If you’re lucky enough to come across an abundance of apricots during the season, consider preserving them for enjoyment all year round. You can make apricot jams, jellies, or chutneys to spread on toast or pair with cheese. Preserving apricots not only allows you to relish their flavor during off-season months but also makes for delightful homemade gifts for friends and family.
4. Salads and Savory Delights
Apricots are not limited to sweet treats alone. They bring a unique touch to savory dishes as well. Try adding sliced apricots to salads for a burst of freshness and color. Their natural acidity complements the flavors of greens, nuts, and cheeses, creating a delicious balance. Try our Grilled Apricot Salad, pictured above.
Where to Find Apricots
When apricots are in season, you’ll find them abundantly in local farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and even some grocery stores. These are the places to go to get your hands on the freshest apricots. Alternatively, if you have the space and inclination, consider growing your own apricot tree. Imagine the joy of stepping into your backyard and picking your own sun-kissed fruits!
Don’t Miss Out on Apricot Season
Apricot season is a magical time for those of us who love seasonal produce. Whether you enjoy apricots fresh from the tree, baked into scrumptious desserts, or added to savory dishes, these juicy fruits will elevate your culinary creations and bring a touch of seasonal magic to your dishes. Happy apricot season!