July - August
There are a few dozen varieties of apricot grown in the U.S., compared to over 2,000 in its home country of China. Because the fruit is prone to a variety of pests and diseases, organic growers have come up with creative nontoxic ways to attempt to control the problems, such as introducing other insects to prey on pests, or spraying with elemental sulfur to combat certain diseases, among others.
You may see apricots show up in May and June, but these early picked fruits tend to be tart or lack flavor, and they don’t get sweeter as they ripen off the tree. In fact, dried apricots will have better flavor than early apricots since they’ll have been picked and dried at peak freshness. All in all, it’s worth the wait for tree ripened apricots in July and August. Look for apricots that are unblemished, a deep orange or yellow/orange color, quite fragrant, and in that narrow window between slightly soft but not mushy.
Nutrition: Apricots are a great source of vitamins A and C, plus potassium and dietary fiber. When ripe, they are almost 10 percent sugar.