My pick this week is apricots. We have such a limited time to enjoy them at their very best – and that’s now. For the next few weeks we move through some stunning varieties of apricot, with names like Rivals, Robada and Moorpark, each with a slightly different flavour and texture. Some of our growing regions have experienced high winds that have caused rub-marks on the fruit. This should result in a feast of succulent, sweet and slightly marked apricots in our imperfects section, but we’ll also make sure we have plenty of aromatic, pink and orange apricots ready for your fruit bowl or pav on Christmas day.
With apricots, the sugars develop, and the acidity disappears as they ripen, so they’re much happier on the kitchen bench than in the fridge. Demand for apricots always soars during Christmas week, so this is the best time to jump in and enjoy.
HOW TO PICK:
Look for apricots that have a golden colour and are firm to the touch and avoid those that are pale yellow or greenish-yellow, rock hard, very soft or shrivelled.
HOW TO STORE:
Ripen apricots in a paper bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Unripe apricots can be stored at room temperature up to 5 days. Refrigerate ripe apricots in a sealed container up to one week. (Be sure that they are ripened first, as they will not ripen in the refrigerator.)