The apricot is the fruit of the apricot tree. The fruit is three-quarters the size of an apple with a large seed that acts as the inner core. The color of the fruit ranges from a golden yellow to a mellow tangerine with shades of lustrous red. The skin of the fruit is coarse as opposed to smooth and it is somewhat velvety. The tree itself is comparatively small and rarely exceeds 12 m in height with an average height of about 10 m with a trunk that is approximately 40 cm in diameter and a top that is covered by a dense canopy of leaves and branches.

The apricot is a fruit of antiquity and it is mentioned in the bible – “as an apricot tree stands out in the forest; my lover stands above the young men in town” - Song of Solomon 2:3-13, and it is often regarded as the tree of knowledge or associated with knowledge and presumably eating the fruits of the tree will help the person distinguish between good and evil. As far as dreaming of apricots is concerned, in English folklore, it means that the dreamer is about to be bestowed with good fortune.

The fruit originated in Armenia and is synonymous to Armenia, Iran (Persia) and Turkey (Asia Minor). Turkey is the largest producer of apricots in the world and accounts for 22.69% of global production. Turkey is followed by Uzbekistan 12.27%, Italy 6.14%, Algeria 5.92%, Iran 5.52%, Pakistan 4.12%, Spain 3.75%, France 3.42%, Afghanistan 3.04% and Morocco 2.59%.
The tree grows well in cool subtropical areas with dry spells (excessive water yields poor results), in soil with PH levels of between 6 – 6.5 i.e. soil that is slightly acidic, and in areas with stable winters (where the winter is not too cold).  

According to the USDA the fruit is rich in vitamins A and C with small quantities of vitamin K and rich in the minerals phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Medical studies indicate that the fruit can help prevent gastritis and acts as an antibacterial agent. 

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward


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