For a limited time during July and August, Idaho apricots are available from local growers, farmers’ markets and grocery stores. The “Gold Rich” variety is popular with Idaho growers because of the large sweet fruit it produces.
Idaho’s climate is well suited for growing sweet and juicy fruit. During the winter, soft-fleshed fruit trees need chilling hours where the temperature is near 32 degrees. This allows the tree to go into a dormant stage ensuring that the tree will produce its flowers and set fruit at the correct time. Idaho’s cool winters provide the ideal amount of chilling hours for apricots to flourish, leading to a large apricot bursting with flavor.
What to Look For: Choose apricots that are golden orange and plump, not too soft and not too hard. Apricots that are soft and ripe will have the best flavor, but they must be used immediately. Avoid apricots that are pale yellow or greenish yellow, too firm, shriveled or bruised, or with whitish spots, cracks or blemishes.
How to Store: Refrigerate ripe apricots unwashed in a paper or plastic bag for up to two days. If the fruit is not ripe, you can ripen it by placing it in a closed paper bag at room temperature for a few days before eating. You can freeze apricots too. First, blanch them for 30 seconds—which will make them easier to peel later—and remove the pits, which can leave a bitter taste. Very ripe apricots can be frozen in stewed or puréed form.
- Henggeler Packing Company
- Kelley’s Canyon Orchard
- Purvis Nursery & Orchard
- Tyler’s Rocky Point Orchard