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This item was last sold on : 06/24/21
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Modesto apricots are one of the larger apricot varieties and have a round, oval, to sometimes pointed shape with a prominent seam extending from the stem to the base. The fruit’s semi-thick skin showcases vibrant hues of orange-yellow, sometimes blushed with red, and is taut, smooth, and velvety, covered in a light fuzzy coating. The skin also has a delicate nature and bruises easily. Underneath the surface, the orange flesh is thick, dense, moderately aqueous, and firm, encasing a central pit that is a freestone variety, easily separating from the flesh. When ripe, Modesto apricots will give slightly under pressure and emit a light floral fragrance. The fruits also contain a mild, floral, and subtly sweet, honeyed flavoring with low acidity.
Modesto apricots are available in the early summer.
Modesto apricots, botanically classified as Prunus armeniaca, are an early-season variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The large fruits form on a tree reaching 4 to 9 meters in height and are favored by growers for the fruit’s dense flesh, mild flavor, and prolific nature. Modesto apricots are not a well-known commercial cultivar as the variety is primarily used for processing into frozen and canned commodities. In its growing regions, the apricots are sometimes sold fresh at local markets and are valued for their vibrant coloring and large size.
Modesto apricots are an excellent source of vitamin A to maintain healthy organ and skin functioning and are a good source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system. The fruits also provide potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and lower amounts of copper and vitamin E.
Modesto apricots have a sweet, subtly tangy flavor well suited for fresh and cooked preparations, including roasting, grilling, baking, and sauteing. The fresh fruits can be washed and sliced in half, discarding the pit, and eaten straight, out of hand. Modesto apricots can also be halved and topped with soft cheeses as an appetizer, mixed into fruit bowls, tossed into salads, blended into smoothies, or chopped and stirred into yogurt, parfaits, and puddings. In addition to using the fruits raw, Modesto apricots can be made into fruit leather or cooked into jams, jellies, preserves, compotes, syrups, and sauces. These spreads can be smoothed over toast, mixed into sauerkraut as a burger topping, coated as a glaze over roasted meats, or used as a sauce for stir-fries. Modesto apricots can also be grilled as a savory main dish accompaniment, incorporated into crisps, cobblers, crumbles, cakes, muffins, cookies, and tarts, or served as a topping over ice cream. Beyond cooked preparations, Modesto apricots are commonly frozen or processed into canned goods. Modesto apricots pair well with fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, other stone fruits, including plums, cherries, and peaches, meats such as pork, poultry, lamb, and duck, and nuts such as pepitas, pistachios, and almonds. Whole, unwashed Modesto apricots should be ripened at room temperature. Once mature, the fruits can be stored in a plastic bag for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Modesto apricots can also be sliced and frozen for up to 12 months, but it is recommended to consume the frozen fruits within 3 to 6 months for the best quality and flavor.
California is recorded as the largest producer of apricots in the United States, and according to a study conducted in 2018, the state grew approximately 98% of the country’s apricot supply. Apricots were introduced to California in the 18th century, and the small fruits were planted throughout the Santa Clara and San Joaquin Valley. Over time, many different apricot varieties have been developed on farms in California, including Modesto apricots. California apricot growers also banded together to form the Apricot Producers of California, a network of apricot breeders, growers, and enthusiasts who desire to educate children on the importance of unique fruits grown in California. Apricots are only in season for a few weeks in the early summer, and it is estimated that about 150 growers produce over 10,000 acres of apricots each season. It has also been estimated that over 70% of the apricots grown are processed into frozen or canned goods. Modesto apricots are mainly grown for freezing. The large fruits have a thick flesh that can be sold frozen in halves or sent to companies for processing into jams, jellies, and preserves.
Modesto apricots are believed by experts to have been developed in Le Grand, California, introduced to commercial markets by F.W. Anderson in the mid-1960s. The variety is an open-pollinated seedling of the perfection apricot. Today Modesto apricots grow in dry, mild climates, especially in Central California. The apricots are sometimes found in home gardens in Southern California and produced on a small scale in France. When in season, Modesto apricots are sold fresh through local farmer’s markets.
Recipes that include Modesto Apricots. One is easiest, three is harder.
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