The apricot is one of the most anticipated fruits in the transition period between spring and summer.
The bright color, the velvety skin, its juicy and sugary pulp make this fruit an unmissable delicacy for the first hot days, both during meals and as a quick snack.
Maybe you don't know that these small fruits also hide a fascinating past, incredible properties and several unexpected uses.
Curious to know more? Read the article!
The apricot between ancient China and Alexander the Great
The origin of the apricot is distant in time and space. Its history in fact begins in China , where it was known and appreciated 5000 years ago. From there it spread throughout Asia, until it reached Armenia, where it was discovered by Alexander the Great. The Macedonian conqueror, enchanted by its flavour, would later make it known in the lands overlooking the Mediterranean, so much so that in Italian its stone is called " armellina " and in some northern dialects it is called with terms such as armelin or armugnin , which is refer precisely to his Armenian origin.
Historically, however, the presence of apricots in Italy is due to the Romans and, subsequently, to the Arabs , who gave the plant the name by which we know it today: al-barquq , apricot.
As well as being good, apricots are also good for your health. Their succulent yellow pulp, in addition to being fresh and light, is also a source of vitamins A, B, and C, fibre, mineral salts and antioxidants , including beta-carotene . They therefore help to counteract cellular aging, keep the circulatory system healthy, promote digestion and protect against eye diseases.
Furthermore, by stimulating the production of melanin, they help defend the skin from the sun's rays in hot weather, while improving your tan at the same time!
A very versatile fruit
Apricot can be consumed as is, but its uses in cooking are very varied. The most classic sees it as an ingredient for the preparation of desserts , sliced or in the form of jams, jellies and marmalades , as in the famous Sacher Torte. But it can also be used to add flavor and color to meat dishes, especially pork and lamb.
The latter is a typical combination of Middle Eastern cuisine, where dried apricots are used in particular. After being cut and dried in the sun, the fruits can be stored for months, retaining most of their nutrients.
You can use dried apricots as an ingredient to give an extra touch to your dishes or as a good, healthy and convenient snack to carry.
Skin oils and liqueurs
Moving from eating to drinking, the apricot is also used in the production of spirits , called apricot wine in English or, if it concerns spirits, apricot brandy .
Kernels are sometimes also used in their preparation, but they are mainly used in the cosmetic field. In fact, their pressing yields a vegetable oil with emollient, anti-inflammatory and protective properties, which helps soothe eczema and dermatitis, combats stretch marks and dry skin and helps keep it hydrated and elastic.
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