Gold Velvet™ Apricots
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|Food Buzz: History of Apricots|
|Food Fable: Apricots|
Gold Velvet™ apricots are small to medium-sized fruits that have a round, oval, to ovate shape with a faint suture extending the length of the fruit. The fruit’s skin is delicate, smooth, taut, and covered in a layer of velvety fuzz, ranging in color from golden yellow to a deep orange-yellow, sometimes blushed with red-orange hues. Underneath the surface, the flesh is bright yellow, easily bruised, and aqueous with a semi-firm but tender texture. There is also a central and inedible, light brown stone in the flesh. Gold Velvet™ apricots have a sweet, fruity, and floral flavor combined with low acidity levels, contributing to a honeyed, sugary, and subtly tangy, jam-like taste.
Gold Velvet™ apricots are available for a few weeks in the early summer.
Gold Velvet™ apricots are an exclusive variety created by Kingsburg Orchards in Modesto, California, belonging to the Rosaceae family. The apricots were released in the early 21st century, produced from natural cross-pollination, and were promoted to meet the increased demand for a longer apricot season. Gold Velvet™ apricots are also a part of a commercial line, known as the Velvet™ Series, annually released in the late spring to early summer to markets throughout the United States. This modern variety represents a new generation of stone fruits that are given unique marketing names instead of names that reflect the genetics of the fruit. Gold Velvet™ was a strategic name given to attract consumers to the fruit’s colorful flesh and skin. Gold Velvet™ apricots are favored by apricot enthusiasts for fresh eating and have a sweet, honeyed flavor suitable for a wide variety of applications.
Gold Velvet™ apricots, like other apricots in general, are a good source of vitamins A and C to boost the immune system, increase collagen production within the skin, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy organ functioning. The fruits also provide some fiber to regulate the digestive tract and contain lower amounts of iron and calcium.
Gold Velvet™ apricots have a very sweet, subtly tangy flavor well suited for fresh preparations. The fruits are primarily consumed straight, out of hand, and both the skin and flesh are edible, discarding the central pit. Gold Velvet™ apricots can be sliced and tossed into salads, mixed into fruit bowls, served with strong cheeses as appetizers, or stirred into cereal, yogurt, parfaits, and other breakfast bowls. The fruits can also be cooked into reductions and syrups as a topping for ice cream and pancakes, simmered into sauces for savory main dishes, glaze for roasted meats, or cooked into jams, jellies, chutney, and preserves as a flavorful condiment. Beyond sauces and fresh preparations, Gold Velvet™ apricots can be incorporated into unique desserts, including an apricot s’more. The fruits are sliced in half, and the chocolate and marshmallows are sandwiched as filler to create a healthier version of the summertime treat. Gold Velvet™ apricots can also be baked into pies, cakes, cookies, cobblers, and crisps, chopped into tarts, or layered into a panini with Nutella and other fruits. Gold Velvet™ apricots pair well with tropical fruits, citrus, ginger, honey, vanilla, cheeses such as goat, blue, ricotta, and chevre, arugula, meats including poultry, pork, turkey, and fish, herbs such as fennel, basil, and mint, and nuts, including pepitas, almonds, and walnuts. Whole, unwashed Gold Velvet™ apricots will keep for 2 to 7 days when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator's crisper drawer.
Kingsburg Orchards is one of the largest family-owned stone fruit growers and distributors in the San Joaquin Valley in Central California. The orchard is operated by George Jackson and his son Mike Jackson, descendants of English farmers dating back to the early 1800s. Over 200 varieties of fruits have been grown in the orchard, and Jackson employs a research nursery team to develop new cultivars for increased commercial cultivation. Gold Velvet™ apricots are a part of a specialty line of apricots grown through Kingsburg Orchards. The Velvet™ Series was created in response to consumer demand for apricots with improved flavor, and the first velvet apricot released from the line was the Black Velvet™ apricot in the early 2000s. The hybrid fruit was successful but was only in season for 2 to 3 weeks, limiting the number of sales over an extended period. Kingsburg Orchards eventually began advancing their Velvet™ Series line by creating new cultivars to extend the apricot season through the summer, offering fresh, juicy choices when other common apricot varieties were no longer available. During the season, Gold Velvet™ apricots are one of the last velvet apricots to ripen, arriving in markets in the middle of June. The other varieties within the Velvet™ Series include Red Velvet™, Blue Velvet™, Crimson Velvet™, Black Velvet™, and Ruby Velvet™.
Gold Velvet™ apricots are a 21st-century proprietary variety developed by Kingsburg Orchards, a grower and distributor in the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. The sweet apricots are an inter-specific cultivar, a cross between a plum, apricot, and peach, and is one of several varieties identified within the Velvet™ Series line of apricots. Gold Velvet™ apricots also thrive in climates with mild winter temperatures and a long, warm, and dry summer. Today Gold Velvet™ apricots are grown in the San Joaquin Valley and are planted in combination with other Velvet™ Series apricots over hundreds of acres. The apricots are only available for a few weeks in the early summer and are cultivated in California for sale at farmer’s markets, specialty grocers, and supermarkets throughout the United States.
Recipes that include Gold Velvet™ Apricots. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Krazy Kitchen Mom||Honey and Thyme Grilled Apricots|
|David Lebovitz||Apricot Jam|
|Steamy Kitchen||Scallops with Apricot Sauce|