January 9: National Apricot Day

Happy National Apricot Day! 

Now, in case you are uncertain of what an apricot is, the dictionary defines it thusly, which amused me for whatever reason: "a juicy, soft fruit, resembling a small peach, of an orange-yellow color." Apricots are indeed like lilliputian peaches, but with what I think of as a more mild flavor. I am not sure how to describe the flavor of an apricot other than to treat it like a primary color. Apricot is apricot, it can't be mixed or replicated. 

To celebrate this delightful little fruit, I'm going to give you some little apricot-tidbits. Every other one will be a factoid, alternated with a recipe idea. 

6 Recipes and tidbits to help you enjoy National Apricot Day

 Photo licensed via Creative Commons on  Flickr

Photo licensed via Creative Commons on Flickr

1. The apricot is symbolic in Chinese culture.

Apparently, the Chinese associate apricots with medicine and education. As I found on wikipedia (I know, I know), "the classical word 杏壇 (literally: "apricot altar") which means "educational circle", is still widely used in written language.

2. Recipe: white chocolate apricot cookies.

These easy drop cookies are refined and a little fancier than chocolate chip cookies. (CakeSpy)

3. They don't just look like peaches; they are related.

Apricots are a member of the rose family, and are related to peaches and plums. In Latin, the apricot is called praecocquum, which means "early-ripening peach."

4. Recipe: apricot and cranberry stollen. 

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Yes, it's a holiday tradition, but this sweet bread is tasty all year round. (CakeSpy for Craftsy)

5. When are apricots in season?

According to The World's Healthiest Foods,

"Apricot season in the U.S. runs from May through August. In the winter, apricots are imported from South America. Look for fruits with a rich orange color while avoiding those that are pale and yellow. Fruits should be slightly soft. If they are too firm they have not been tree-ripened, and tree-ripened fruits always taste best. For the most antioxidants, choose fully ripened fruit."

6. Recipe: Mazurka bars.

This is one of my favorite recipes. It can be made with any type of jam; one of my faves is apricot.(CakeSpy)

Do you like baked goods with apricot?