Orange-Red Apricots

In Albums: food fruit produce

Apricots in a small container, with a rich red color and rich orange color

Jul 9th, 2011, by Alex Zorach

These apricots show a rich reddish color, unusual among commercial apricots. These apricots were for sale at the Clark Park Farmer's Market in West Philadelphia.

I bought some of these apricots and they were delicious. They had a broad range of ripeness over which they were enjoyable to eat. When I bought them they were crisp and slightly crunchy, but soft enough to eat. As they ripened they became softer, almost like peaches. When ripe they had an intense sweetness and rich aroma, like dried apricots.

Commercial apricots rarely have more than the slightest hint of a reddish tinge to them (often they have none), whereas these apricots were intensely red, with some fruits almost completely red. The flesh was a deep orange color. I wonder if the color difference is due to variety or growing conditions. However, having known people who have grown apricots, and having seen this reddish color appear on the fruit of most people's trees who grow apricots, I suspect that the growing and harvesting conditions are the key, and not any special variety.

Mass-produced commercially grown fruit is often harvested unripe, and then allowed to ripen. This theory would explain both the change in color, and the fact that mass-produced apricots have a narrow range of ripeness over which they are enjoyable (they sometimes become mealy or mushy if allowed to ripen too long).