Fruit trees

Apricot, a chewy little sun


Apricot in short ...

French production in 2012 : 160,900 tons

Production basins : Rhône-Alpes, PACA and Languedoc-Roussillon

Availability : from June to August
Full season : July
Average price in 2012 : 2.5 € / kg
Consumption in 2012 : 3.8 kg per purchasing household
Nutrition : 100 g of apricots represent 49.1 kcal

1 Source: Agreste
2 Source: Kantar Worldpanel
3 Sources: INSEE (a household is made up of 2.3 people), Kantar Worldpanel
4 Source: Ciqual 2012

Read also: health benefits and virtues of apricot

Apricot, Cultivation Side

The culture of apricot trees, which can reach 6 m in height, requires patience and know-how. Apart from the geographical areas specific to the cultivation of each variety, their production is practically impossible. The Bergeron and Orangé de Provence varieties are the most cultivated in France. They both have an elongated shape but their color is different: while the Bergeron variety has a uniform orange, Provence Orange is punctuated with red. As for the small round apricots with an orange color and speckled with red, this is the variety Roussillon red.

The multiplication of apricot trees is done by grafting on the plum trees and almond trees from the end of July, or on apricots and peaches at the end of August.

In February comes the time for flowering, a delicate transition because the flowers cannot withstand the climatic fluctuations that sometimes accompany the end of winter. The flowers are then fertilized by their own pollen or by that of a flower from the same tree in order to produce the fruit: the apricot tree is thus self-fertile.

The summer maintenance of the tree (pruning and thinning) can promote the development of fruits, which are harvested when ripe from mid-June.

  • Find our advice sheet dedicated to the cultivation of apricots

A little history

The apricot tree is from Armenia but it is from China, via the Silk Road, that it arrives in Europe. Thanks to the trees planted in Versailles gardens, France under Louis XIV developed a taste for apricots. However, the cultivation of this fruit did not develop until the following century.

Today, the varieties cultivated in France are numerous and most often attached to a region.

Apricot, Kitchen

Our choice will be on ripe fruits with soft and sweet flesh. Their orange color guarantees maturity. Be careful, however, some fruits may have a touch of red which is not necessarily a sign of a perfectly ripe product. This color, called "blush", can appear well before harvest time.

For plain consumption, count 3 apricots per person. A good kilo of apricots will make a pie for 6 to 8 people or 1 liter of sorbet.

Read also: health benefits and virtues of apricot

Preserving apricots

Apricots should be eaten soon after purchase. They can be kept a few days in the refrigerator compartment or in the open.

In the first case, it is good to take them out to room temperature shortly before serving them so that they regain their full flavor.

Preparation of apricots

Raw or cooked, apricots can be prepared according to tastes and desires. Traditional pies and jams are now giving way to more daring preparations. Apricots can be cooked equally well in soups, sorbets, coulis or custards. It comes in an infinite variety of ways and now makes the daring bet to spice up savory dishes. Pan-fried, apricots are the perfect accompaniment to white meats and poultry. It also goes well with lamb or rice.

So many variations that make apricot the king of summer plates and gourmet breaks. Plain, it is easily eaten for a light and tasty snack.

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