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The apricot is a stone fruit related to the plum, almond, peach, and nectarine. Apricots have loose pits that are fairly smooth. Apricots are plum-sized at most, sometimes smaller.

Apricots do not keep well. Most apricots are picked while very unripe, and never develop much apricot flavor. When ripe, an apricot is very soft but not mushy. Apricots are easy to bruise. Do not refrigerate apricots.

Apricots are commonly used in jam.

To cut an apricot, slice around its seam, twist it in half, and lift out the pit. Be gentle.

When fresh apricots aren't in season, dried apricots are often available. Choose brown ones (without sulfur dioxide) if you can find them. Choose tough chewy ones over soft ones. Soft ones have a less intense flavor, more water, and often added glycerin.

Freeze-dried apricots are crunchy and extremely sweet.

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