If you’re an apricot lover, chances are your favorite time of year is July and August, because that’s when the Idaho apricot harvest is in full swing. Buy direct from local growers, at farmers’ markets, or from your neighborhood grocery store.
The “Gold Rich” variety is especially popular with Idaho growers because of the large sweet fruit it produces. Apricots are very high in vitamin A, fiber, antioxidants, iron, vitamin C, and calcium.
Fun Facts about Idaho Apricots
Idaho’s climate is well suited for growing sweet and juicy apricots. During the winter, soft-fleshed fruit trees need chilling hours where the temperature is near 32 degrees. Idaho’s cool winters provide the ideal amount of chilling hours for apricots to flourish, leading to a large apricot bursting with flavor.
Apricots are an ancient fruit, having originated in China and Central Asia as early as 2000 B.C. from trees native to the area.
What to look for: Choose apricots that are golden orange and plump, not too soft, and not too hard. Apricots that are soft and ripe will have the best flavor, but they must be used immediately. Avoid apricots that are pale yellow or greenish-yellow, too firm, shriveled or bruised, or with whitish spots, cracks, or blemishes.
How to store: Refrigerate ripe apricots unwashed in a paper or plastic bag for up to two days. Place unripened apricots in a closed paper bag at room temperature for a few days before eating.