Red Velvet™ Apricots
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Red Velvet™ apricots have the initial appearance of a small plum, roughly 4 to 5 centimeters in diameter with a dark cherry colored skin. They are covered in a fine velvet creating a smooth texture over the thin skin with an inconspicuous suture on one side. The bright yellow flesh is moderately juicy and clings to the stone at the center of the fruit and offers a melting quality. Red Velvet™ apricots have a balanced, sweet-tart flavor with notes of cinnamon.
Red Velvet™ apricots are available for a brief period in late spring till early summer.
Red Velvet™ apricots are technically plumcots, natural hybrids between plums and apricots that share an equal amount of genetic material from both parent fruits. They are called “inter-specific” apricots because they generally belong to the apricot family but were pollinated by plums. Botanically classified as Prunus armeniaca x Prunus salicina, the hybrid fruits share a blend of flavor and appearance from both fruits. Red Velvet™ apricots are a part of a “Velvet” series, which include two other cultivars, providing consumers with an entire summer of plumcot options.
Red Velvet™ apricots are a good source of potassium, vitamin C and fiber. They are also a source of vitamin A, beta carotene, calcium and iron and contain a small amount of protein. The phytochemicals present in their red skins provide beneficial antioxidants.
Red Velvet™ apricots are best used for fresh eating. They also lend well to compotes, jams, ice creams and reductions. Use the hybrid fruits in place of plum or apricots in recipes. Add slices to fruit or green salads, mix into chicken salads or slice thinly for canapes, flatbreads, or sandwiches. Use Red Velvet apricots in savory applications like dressings and marinades or to add sweetness to braising liquids. Pair with gamey meats, fresh leafy herbs, soft cheeses, citrus and other stone fruits. Bake into muffins, breads or scones. Unripe fruit will ripen at room temperature. Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Horticulturalist Luther Burbank was the first to successfully cross a plum and an apricot. He lived and worked in Northern California where apricots were often too delicate to survive the late frosts. Burbank’s intention was to create a hybrid fruit with the protective fuzz of an apricot and the late flowering tendency of the plum. Floyd Zaiger continued his work, eventually developing the pluot and aprium by crossing his own hybrids with plums and apricots.
Red Velvet™ apricots were developed by Kingsburg Orchards after the success of their Black Velvet™ apricots. Consumers wanted to be able to enjoy the apricot-plum hybrids for longer than their short three-week season. Both the red and a gold variety were introduced within a few years. Growers rely on rootstock to propagate Red Velvet™ apricots, as new crops cannot be reproduced by seed. The hybrid apricots thrive in climates where winter temperatures are cool but not cold and the summer season is long, warm and dry. Red Velvet apricots are most likely spotted at farmer’s markets and specialty produce stores in California and the Pacific Northwest.
Recipes that include Red Velvet™ Apricots. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Dula Notes||Vegan Breakfast Fruit Cake|
|Once More With Veggies||Green Bean and Apricot Salad with Mint|