Feeling Fruity

Little bites of heaven.

Little bites of heaven.

It seems strange to call apricots a vice, which is why I prefer the word obsession. Whatever the appropriate term, this week marks the return of my love affair with the fruit–available for only a brief season each summer. But while the apricots here have been good, even very good on occasion, the perfect fruit remains elusive.

I know what a perfect apricot tastes like, thanks to the one, too-short week we spent in Northern California during my childhood. At the time, my dad’s mom–my grandmother, Marjorie–was living on a ranch in the San Jose area. I remember several things about that ranch: It was magical in the way that the West is magical. It was cluttered with old-fashioned trinkets and memorabilia that my sister and I found strange and exotic. And it was home to several dozen apricot trees.

To say I gorged myself during that trip is an understatement. I ate the apricots in the fruit bowl on the counter. I went out and ate them off the trees. I would have eaten more, except my mom–and eventually, my gut–stopped me. But only temporarily. Soon enough, I was splitting open another perfect apricot, my hands dripping with golden-orange juice that tasted like a mixture of honey and flowers and a tiny bit of the tartness of plums.

I’ve never had another apricot like the ones I plucked off those prolific trees. Too soon, the ranch was gone, and though we returned to California after that, it never seemed to be during apricot season. But a few times this week, as I savored the red-hued apricots making the rounds in Boston, I could almost recapture the feeling of standing on those dust-brown hills. Of the perfume of apricot nectar in the air, and the taste of ambrosia filling my mouth.

5 Things I’m Obsessing About This Week (beginning and ending with apricots), August 14, 2013:

1. I love eating apricots out of hand, but I did save a few to make this delicious breakfast treat. I highly recommend.

2. Major heart-warmer.

3. This was surprisingly eye-opening.

4. Giant LOLs. It’s hard to believe how inappropriate/clueless some of these are.

5. And if there are any apricots left, there’s nothing that looks better than this recipe for roasted apricots. Stirred into yogurt? I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to my favorite season.

Comments

  1. I’ve never had anything but dried apricots — I’m going to the store now to try some fresh ones!

    • I hope you can find some good ones, Molly! The red jacket variety are also grown in NY, so you might have luck at a Whole Foods in your neighborhood. Just make sure they smell really ripe and have some give–soft, but not mushy–before you eat them. When they’re really ripe, you should be able to pull them apart–into perfect halves–with your bare hands. Enjoy!

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