Though Apricots originated in Asia, they were brought to the Mediterranean where European plant breeders produced the apricot we know today. California is the largest producer of Apricots in the U.S. followed by Washington, Idaho, Utah and Colorado.
Description: There are primarily two types of Apricots: European and Asian.
- Most of the Apricot varieties grown in the U.S. are European Apricots. European Apricots are small, round-headed trees, ultimately reaching a height of up to 30 feet.
- Asian Apricots resemble the European kinds, but are smaller, only reaching a height from six to 15 feet, and they are shrubby instead of tree-like. The fruit of the Asian Apricots grow one or 2 inches and the taste varies from sweet to sour.
Growing environment Apricots are very early bloomers, which makes them susceptible to injury from late spring frosts. A warm spell during the spring or even the winter urges the flower or leaf buds to begin swelling and the subsequent cold kills them. European Apricots grow only in mild climates; Asian Apricots are hardier and can survive harsh winters, though will still be damaged if the weather warms enough to induce blooming and then freezes up again. Apricots grow safely in mild climates and in very cold climates, where winter stays until late in the season and then lets up.
- Halves: Bright orange color, rich flavor with tart/sweet taste.
- Diced: ¼” to ½” pieces of fruit, roughly cubic shape.
- Paste: Produced by grinding prepared dried apricots.
- Double Diced: Random pieces of fruit roughly cubic in shape.
- Varigrade: Bright orange to medium amber-color varies piece to piece.
- Whole Pitted: Yellow to orange in color, delicate apricot flavor. Texture somewhat softer than California type apricots.