Bonny Royal Apricots
Inventory, 5 lbs : 0
Bonny Royal apricots are a medium to large variety, averaging 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter, and have a uniform, round to oval shape with a prominent suture extending the length of the apricot. The fruit’s skin is smooth, taut, semi-thick, and vibrant yellow-orange, covered in a light layer of velvety fuzz and blushed with shades of red. Underneath the surface, the flesh is firm, aqueous, and golden yellow, encasing a central dark brown stone, also known as a pit. The textured, ridged pit is a freestone-type apricot, meaning the pit easily separates from the flesh. Bonny Royal apricots have a strong, favorable aroma with sweet honey notes. When ripe, the fruits maintain a firm but tender texture and contain balanced sugar and acidity levels, contributing to its sweet and tangy, fruity, and subtly floral flavor.
Bonny Royal apricots are available in the early summer.
Bonny Royal apricots, botanically classified as Prunus armeniaca, are a flavorful 20th-century cultivar belonging to the Rosaceae family. The aromatic fruits grow on a large, spreading tree that reaches 3 to 4 meters in height and were developed through open pollination in an orchard in Modesto, California. Bonny Royal apricots were selected for their balanced sweet-tart flavor, productive nature, and early summer ripening. When in season, the boutique fruits are favored by apricot enthusiasts primarily for fresh eating, sold through local farmer’s markets, or grown as a specialty cultivar in home gardens. Bonny Royal apricots are also valued for canning, holding their shape well, and providing rich, sweet, and tangy flavors.
Bonny Royal apricots have not been extensively studied for their nutritional properties, but like other apricot varieties, they are a source of vitamins A and C to boost collagen production and reduce inflammation and contain lower amounts of calcium, folate, and magnesium. The fruits also provide some fiber to regulate the digestive tract, vitamin E to act as an antioxidant to protect the cells from free radical damage, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body.
Bonny Royal apricots have balanced sugar and acid levels, creating a pleasing sweet and tangy flavor well suited for fresh preparations. The fruits can be sliced in half, the pit removed, and consumed straight, out of hand, or they can be quartered and served on appetizer plates, mixed into cereal, granola, or yogurt, or blended into smoothies and ice cream. Bonny Royal apricots can also be cooked into sauces, jams, and syrups, used in glazes for roasted meats, or baked into cakes, crisps, crumbles, bars, tarts, and other pastries. For a smokey-sweet flavor, try grilling Bonny Royal apricot slices and incorporating the pieces into a green salad. Bonny Royal apricots are also used for canning as the fruit slices hold their flavor and shape well. In addition to canning, the apricots are dried for extended use, sliced in half, and naturally dehydrated in the sun. Dried Bonny Royal apricots can be finely chopped and mixed into rice dishes, baked goods, or grain bowls. Bonny Royal apricots pair well with herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fruits, including cherries, citrus, peaches, coconut, and strawberries, chocolate, cheeses such as ricotta, mascarpone, and goat, and meats such as poultry, pork, and beef. Whole, unwashed Bonny Royal apricots can be stored at room temperature until ripe. Once mature, they can be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer for up to five days.
Bonny Royal apricots were developed by famed breeder Floyd Zaiger of Zaiger Genetics, a company based in Modesto, California. Zaiger is often thought of as one of the most famous stone fruit breeders in the modern-day and began his breeding career in 1954 when he purchased an azalea farm in California. During this time, Zaiger worked under Fred Anderson, another breeder who once worked closely with Luther Burbank, the world-renowned geneticist and fruit breeder. Zaiger eventually began experimenting and breeding new varieties, patenting his first cultivar in 1965. It has been reported that over 2,000 different trees are developed annually at Zaiger Genetics, but on average, only 7 will be selected for potential commercial cultivation. Throughout his career, Zaiger was known for developing pluots, apriums, and types of white-fleshed peaches. Zaiger continued to actively breed new stone fruit varieties until his passing at age 94 in 2020, and his children have taken over Zaiger Genetics to maintain his legacy.
Bonny Royal apricots were developed in the late 20th century through open pollination in the Zaiger Genetics experimental orchard in Modesto, California. The variety’s parentage is unknown, but some experts speculate that the blenheim apricot may be present in the cultivar’s lineage. Bonny Royal apricots were selected for commercial cultivation due to their large, uniform size, productivity, and flavor. In 1998, Zaiger Genetics submitted a patent for the new variety. The patent was granted in 2000 but later expired in 2018. Today Bonny Royal apricots are mainly grown through select apricot orchards and in home gardens as a specialty variety. When in season, the fruits are sold through local farm stands and farmer’s markets. Bonny Royal apricots are also dried, sold through online retailers as a snack food and gift item.
Recipes that include Bonny Royal Apricots. One is easiest, three is harder.
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