Suppression

Apricots

Category: Food

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

 

Apricots are a fruit similar in appearance to a small peach, but with a different distinctive taste.

They can range from yellow to orange, often tinged red on the side most exposed to the sun; the surface can be smooth (botanically described as: glabrous) or velvety with very short hairs (botanically: pubescent).

The flesh is usually firm and not very juicy. Its taste can range from sweet to tart.

The single seed is enclosed in a hard, stony shell, often called a "stone". Seeds or kernels of the apricot grown in central Asia and around the Mediterranean are sometimes used as a substitute for almonds. The Italian liqueur amaretto and amaretti biscotti are flavoured with extract of apricot kernels. Oil pressed from these cultivar kernels, and known as oil of almond, has been used as cooking oil. [According to Wikipedia 'Kernels contain between 2.05% and 2.40% hydrogen cyanide, but normal consumption is insufficient to produce serious effects']. 

Background

Apricots drying in turkey

In Europe, apricots were long considered an aphrodisiac, and were used in this context in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  My father used to say a plate of apricots resembled a lot of upturned babies bottoms!  Perhaps there is a connection.

It was also known as 'an inducer of childbirth', as depicted in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi.

Due to their high fibre to volume ratio, dried apricots are sometimes used to relieve constipation. Effects can be felt after eating as few as three.

Apricot kernels are used as a component in traditional Chinese medicine. “The story is told of Dong Feng a physician during the Three Kingdoms period, who required no payment from his patients except that they plant apricot trees in his orchard on recovering from their illnesses, resulting in a large grove of apricot trees and a steady supply of medicinal ingredients

Method

Delicious just eaten raw, but they go well with pork and bacon, and can be stuffed with cottage cheese.

They can also be added to salads.  Dried apricots are particularly nice in salads, cut up into chunks. 

Dried apricots are also a staple ingredient of many Moroccan dishes -  Lamb tagini, for example contains vegetables, chick peas and apricots along with the tagini spices.

Apricot mincemeat - from Farmhouse fare

half pound chopped apricots
half pound dates stoned
half pound currants
half pound apples
half pound raisins
pinch nutmeg or ground allspice
rind and juice of lemon
chopped almonds to taste
half pound brown sugar

Chop all fruit finely, add other ingredients, use as Christmas mincemeat in pre-cooked pastry cases or eat with stilton cheese. 

 

 

Nutrients

09021, Apricots, raw National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference  Release 26   Software v.1.3.1 Nutrient values and weights are for edible portion

Nutrient

Unit

Value per 100 g

Proximates

Water

g

86.35

Energy

kcal

48

Protein

g

1.40

Total lipid (fat)

g

0.39

Carbohydrate, by difference

g

11.12

Fiber, total dietary

g

2.0

Sugars, total

g

9.24

Minerals

Calcium, Ca

mg

13

Iron, Fe

mg

0.39

Magnesium, Mg

mg

10

Phosphorus, P

mg

23

Potassium, K

mg

259

Sodium, Na

mg

1

Zinc, Zn

mg

0.20

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid

mg

10.0

Thiamin

mg

0.030

Riboflavin

mg

0.040

Niacin

mg

0.600

Vitamin B-6

mg

0.054

Folate, DFE

µg

9

Vitamin B-12

µg

0.00

Vitamin A, RAE

µg

96

Vitamin A, IU

IU

1926

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)

mg

0.89

Vitamin D (D2 + D3)

µg

0.0

Vitamin D

IU

0

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

µg

3.3

Lipids

Fatty acids, total saturated

g

0.027

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated

g

0.170

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated

g

0.077

Cholesterol

mg

0

Other

Caffeine

mg

0

Observations

Related observations