Monday, 12 January 2009

Apricots;

Golden Apricots;


This time of year stone fruits like apricots come onto the market, or if you are lucky you have a tree with ripening fruits. I have made jam.
1kg apricots
500 g sugar
1 tblspoon jamsetta (a combination of pectin and citric acid)
cook until mushy or the apricots are soft which takes about 20 minutes. Fill squeaky clean glasses, recycled ones are fine, fill up and close lids tightly. Once opened keep the jam in the fridge as there is not as much sugar in it.


The Apricot (Prunus armeniaca, "Armenian plum" in Latin, syn. Armeniaca vulgaris Lam."Tsiran" in Armenian) is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation, but most likely in northern and western China and Central Asia, possibly also Korea and Japan.
The Apricot was first cultivated in India in about 3000 BC.
[4] In Armenia it was known from ancient times, having been brought along the Silk Road;[4] it has been cultivated there so long it is often thought to be native there.[5][6] Its introduction to Greece is attributed to Alexander the Great,[4] and the Roman General Lucullus (106-57 B.C.E.) also exported some trees, cherry, white heart cherry and apricot from Armenia to Europe. Subsequent sources were often much confused over the origin of the species. Loudon (1838) believed it had a wide native range including Armenia, Caucasus, the Himalaya, China and Japan.[7] Nearly all sources presume that because it is named armeniaca, the tree must be native to or have originated in Armenia as the Romans knew it. For example, De Poerderlé asserts: "Cet arbre tire son nom de l'Arménie, province d'Asie, d'où il est originaire et d'où il fut porté en Europe ...." ("this tree takes its name from Armenia, province of Asia, where it is native, and whence it was brought to Europe ....")[8] There is no scientific evidence to support such a view. Today the cultivars have spread to all parts of the globe with climates that support it.
Apricots have been cultivated in
Persia since antiquity, and dried ones were an important commodity on Persian trade routes. Apricots remain an important fruit in modern-day Iran where they are known under the common name Zard-alu.
Egyptians usually dry apricot and sweeten it then use it to make a drink called "'amar al-dīn".
More recently,
English settlers brought the apricot to the English colonies in the New World. Most of modern American production of apricots comes from the seedlings carried to the west coast by Spanish missionaries. Almost all U.S. production is in California, with some in Washington and Utah.[9].
Many apricots are also cultivated in
Australia, particularly South Australia where they are commonly grown in the region known as the Riverland and in a small town called Mypolonga in the Lower Murray region of the state. In states other than South Australia apricots are still grown, particularly in Tasmania and western Victoria and southwest New South Wales, but they are less common than in South Australia.

Kernels
Main article:
Apricot kernel
Seeds or kernels of the apricot grown in central Asia and around the Mediterranean are so sweet that they may be substituted for almonds. The Italian liqueur Amaretto and amaretti biscotti are flavoured with extract of apricot kernels rather than almonds. Oil pressed from these cultivars has been used as cooking oil.

Medicinal and non-food uses
Cyanogenic glycosides (found in most stone fruit seeds, bark, and leaves) are found in high concentration in apricot seeds. Laetrile, a purported alternative treatment for cancer, is extracted from apricot seeds. As early as the year 502, apricot seeds were used to treat tumors, and in the 17th century apricot oil was used in England against tumors and ulcers. In Europe, apricots were long considered an aphrodisiac, and were used in this context in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and as an inducer of childbirth, as depicted in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi.
Due to their high fiber to volume ratio, dried apricots are sometimes used to relieve constipation or induce diarrhea. Effects can be felt after eating as few as three.
Research shows that of any food, apricots possess the highest levels and widest variety of
carotenoids]. Carotenoids are antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, reduce "bad cholesterol" levels, and protect against cancer]. In traditional Chinese medicine, apricots are considered helpful in regenerating body fluids, detoxifying, and quenching thirst
Some claim that the kernels also have healthy properties, including toning the respiratory system and alleviating a cough]. However, the tip of the apricot holds a concentrated amount of the chemical laetrile, which can be upsetting to the systemThe tips of the seeds should be removed and consumption should be limited to no more than five a day.
Thank you to Wikipedia for much of the information. If you want to know more about this wonderful fruit please click here


Thank you for visiting and have a nice day!
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Photos T.S.
1 Photo from wikipedia

18 comments:

napaboaniya said...

Looks yummy and after reading it. It shows the nutrition values making it really good :)

Natural Moments said...

I want some. It looks really good.

Helga said...

Mein Sohn liebt Aprikosen.Leider will das Bäumchen hier bei uns nicht so richtig wachsen. Ich werde wohl noch mal ein neues kaufen müssen.
l.G.
Helga

Pia K said...

Oh that looks wonderful! As with bananas and kiwis I really don't like the consistency au naturel, but the flavour is delicious and apricot jam is my favourite of jams. Not to mention the wonderful, sadly not available in Sweden, Bath & Body Works peach/apricot range of body splash and lotions, great for the skin, gorgeous scent and such a mood lifter.

I'll bookmark this recipe for summer (that's when they're in season here).

Kanak Hagjer said...

The cut pieces of fruit and jam look delicious! We only get the dried ones here. I've never tasted a fresh apricot.

Always interesting to read all the food info that you provide, Trudi. Amazing, isn't it that so many plants have such wonderful qualities!

chaiselongue said...

Yummy jam! I love apricots - my favourite fruit. Thanks for the history - I didn't know they came from the far east. They are very common in the middle east - when I lived in Turkey we used to eat them a lot, fresh, dried and in sheets as fruit leather. Delicious! I can't wait till we have fruit on our apricot tree in our summer.

Rowena said...

Apricots are my favorite "stone" fruits. Imagine my delight when they had apricot jam-filled krapfen (donuts) at a sudtirol xmas fair that I recently attended. Of course, there's no denying that sachertorte is the ultimate apricot/chocolate combination!

Must.make.one.soon.

Ewa said...

ooh.. I love apricots and home made jam - so tasty and aromatic.

LadyLuz said...

I'm going to snaffle your recipe, thanks, ready to use in May time when ours will be ripe.....roll on. I've had enough of this rain, mist, cold now.

Kerri said...

I'm another apricot lover! The cut up fruit and jam looks so delicious. It's one of my favourite jams. Yum!
It's very hard to get good apricots here. They're in the grocery stores in early summer, but are usually not particularly tasty.
I love the dried fruit too.
I hope you have a lovely Thursday, Trudi :)

Elfe said...

Mmmm ich liebe Aprikosen und Aprikosenkonfitüre. Jetzt im Winter esse ich oft getrocknete Aprikosen, die sollen nicht nur gut sondern auch gesund sein.
Liebe Grüsse
Elfe

Frances said...

Hi Titania, what lovely jams you have made! The color is what entices me, but the taste is a favorite too. I did not know that no more than three a day should be eaten, though, thanks for the that info!
Frances

Stuart said...

Some serious Apricot envy going on here Titania. They look delicious.

Alan said...

I grew up in apricot country in Utah, and now that I've moved east I miss them. I'm looking at an exceptionally cold hardy variety from Millers. If I plant it on a northern slope maybe that will set the bloom time back until after the last frost. Thanks for such an informative post.

Barbara said...

Mangels eigenem Aprikosenbaum fahren wir jedes Jahr mal ins Wallis und holen uns dort die Menge die wir brauchen. Ich liebe Aprikosenkonfiture (mache sie auch selbst) und vorallem Fruchtkuchen und Crèmes (dafür gefriere ich sie auch ein). Ich habe wieder viel Neues erfahren durch deine Recherchearbeit, vielen Dank. Wenn mir die Hintergrundinfo so nett präsentiert wird, lese ich es mit Interesse. Manchmal ist frau ja für's selbst Nachschlagen etwas bequem ;-) !!
Sei ganz lieb gegrüsst, Barbara

Titania said...

Thank you so much for your comments.

Marc said...

That looks really lovely, sweet and juicy. I can almost taste it :-)

disa said...

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