Apricots are one of the world’s healthiest foods, according to reference site whfoods.org. And they are very versatile, being used in main courses, desserts and condiments.

Most people choose apricots just for the sheer pleasure of eating them. Apricots have a sophisticated taste, like wine, with complex hints of flavour and a slight tartness in the finish that refreshes the palate.

Fresh apricots are the essence of summer. They should be left on the tree until they have started to soften, as apricots picked too early will never mature to their full natural sugar level.

People have been cultivating apricots for 5,000 years, starting in Asia and spreading to Europe (though they took more than 4,500 years to get to England).

Like plums, apricots store well, whether dried or in jams or in syrup, so they have been a valuable winter food. Many recipes use apricots to get a contrast of flavour.

Although they are cultivated world wide, apricots need well drained soils with a high pH and consistent winter chill temperatures, making our Southwest one of the best areas in the world for consistently excellent apricots.