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These trees hate cold, rainy springs, which is why you don’t see people growing them on the North Coast where I live. But there are two new varieties, Puget Gold and Harglow, that have been bred to tolerate Pacific Northwest weather, so look for those if you are longing for your own apricot tree. Most are self-fertile, so you won’t have to buy two.

Apricots soaked in brandy can be a marvelous thing, but even more marvelous is amaretto, made not from almonds but from the almond-like pits of sweet apricots.  Most apricots grown in the United States are bitter-pit varieties, and you can’t eat those pits—they’re too high in cyanide.  But cyanide-free sweet pit varieties like Chinese Montgamet (also called Chinese Golden) and SweetHeart are available from fruit tree nurseries. Homemade amaretto recipes involve brandy, vodka, sweet apricot pits, vanilla beans, and sugar; if you’ve got enough fruit, this would be worth investigating. Again:  sweet pit apricots only! Oh, and if you’d rather skip the tree and go straight to the bottle, Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur is the thing to try.

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