Apricot
APRICOT.
INTRODUCTION

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The apricot also known as damask or clingstone peach, is the fruit of the apricot tree, tree of the family of the Rosy ones. This family includes more than 2.000 species of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees distributed by moderate regions of the whole world. The principal European fruits, in addition to the rosebush, belong to this big family. The fruit has the juicy, firm meat and with a delightful sweet flavor.




ORIGIN AND VARIETIES

The apricot was named originally Prunus armeniaca because the Romans it introduced in Europe from the distant east route Armenia. He is a native of the temperate zones of Asia, North Korea or Manchuria, although the first references on his cultivation go back to 3000 B.C. in China. At present it takes place in countries like Turkey, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, France, the United States, South Africa and New Zealand. Spain is an important producer, being the Mediterranean basin where his cultivation began.


The most outstanding varieties are:

Bulida: it is a Spanish variety of big fruits and with a slightly deep rut. His skin is yellow and his meat, sweet, juicy and perfumed. It is gathered at the beginning of June.

Canine: Spanish fruit variety, with almost round form and big or very big size, of yellow or orange skin. It is gathered in June.

Nancy: it is a fruit of very big size, a little inflated in the base, almost spherical and dented in the peak. His skin is of yellow color I pray with red seams and his skin presents small bulkiness. The meat has copper color, it is perfumed and of thin, sweet flavor and a little acidic. It is gathered in July and there are fruits of very good quality.

Paviot: there are fruits of very big size, of intense orange and red color. His meat is yellow, it dies and agreeably. It is gathered in July and August and provides a few fruits of very good quality.

Moniquí: it is a variety of big size. The fruit is egg-shaped and beaten, with whitish skin and turgid, beefy pulp and of extremely sugary flavor. It is the variety most appreciated in the center of Spain. It matures at the end of June or beginning of July.

Currot: It is the earliest commercial variety that appears on the market. There are fruits of small size, delicate skin of white - rosy color, with whitish, slightly beefy pulp and flavor I acidulate. They usually preripen before his commercialization since newly harvested they lack gustatory value.

Red Galta: in Castilian it means red cheek, possibly be the variety most commercialized and more consumed in Spain. It possesses an attractive skin, reddish half and yellow or orange half, and his pulp is orange and of sweet flavor.

Broom: one of the most precocious varieties that appears on the market. The fruits have spherical form and his skin is whitish. The beefy pulp has white color and soft and delicate flavor.

Mitger: variety that is characterized by the size of his fruits, concerning 50-55 mm. His skin is thin, soft and velvety, and his white, sweet and juicy meat. They appear on the Spanish market at the end of May.

HIS BEST EPOCH

The most sweet and juicy apricots can be from spring ends till the end of the summer, that is to say, between May and September. The pink tonality that acquires the Indian skin a sweetness excess in the fruit.

CHARACTERISTICS

It forms: it is a drupe rounded with velvety skin, a typical rut in the average part and a seed in the shape of almond inside the fruit.

Size and weight: small, big or very big, according to the variety, although of minor size that a peach. The most common commercialization calibers range between the 35 to 55 millimeters in diameter in the equatorial section of the fruit. The weight of an apricot is of about 50 grams. A normal ration considers three apricots to be approximately 150 grams, that is to say.

Color: the tones of his skin change according to the variety between reddish, white and yellow or orange. To the tact it is soft and velvety.

Flavor: the pulp has an exquisite sweet flavor when the apricot is mature.


HOW TO CHOOSE IT AND TO PRESERVE IT


The apricots are a few very delicate fruits, therefore they have to talk each other with big care and precaution. A small blow with the fingernail or a strong pressure with the fingers, harms him, stains it and gives place to his rapid rottenness. It is in his ripeness point when, on having pressed the fruit gently between two fingers, a soft consistency is appreciated. The apricots have to be taken very mature so that they have all his delicacy and all his aroma. The gathered ones before this point are not sweet and only they mature a little. It is advisable to avoid those who are wrinkled. Already mature, they can keep in the refrigerator in a pierced plastic bag.



Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 39,7
Carbohydrates (g) 9,5
Fibre (g) 2,1
Potassium (mg) 290
Magnesium (mg) 12
Provitamina A (mcg) 27
Vitamin C (mg) 7
mcg = micrograms
NOURISHING PROPERTIES


Compared with other fruits, his energy contribution is quite low, considering his high quantity of water and modest contribution of carbohydrates. He stands out for the fibre plenty, that it improves the intestinal transit, and his content in provitamina A (beta - caroteno), of antirust action. His mineral content is not less important, since it is rich in elements like the potassium and, in minor proportion, in magnesium and in calcium, the last one of worse use than the one that comes from the milk or other food that are a good source of the above mentioned mineral. The beta - caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The above mentioned vitamin is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system, in addition to having antirust properties. The potassium is a mineral necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse and for activity muscular normal, also, it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell. The magnesium is related to the functioning of intestine, nerves and muscles, is part of bones and teeth, improves the immunity and possesses a soft laxative effect.




AS REGARDS THE HEALTH
The attractive orange color of the apricots, together with the agreeable aroma that they detach and his tasty sweetness, they turn to these fruits in one of the favorite ones of the summer station. For his nourishing components, his consumption has to be encouraged in all the ages: children, young people, adults, sportsmen, pregnant women or nursing mothers and major persons.

The beta - caroteno content or provitamina A of the apricots, of antirust action, awards his typical orange color to them and turns them into a consumption fruit recommended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular, degenerative diseases and of the cancer. Likewise, diverse substances of the apricot, in addition to the beta - caroteno, are used to treat the complaints of the skin.

The content in potassium of the apricot turns him into a fruit diurética, recommended in the dietetic treatment of diverse cardiovascular diseases, like the arterial hypertension or other partners to liquids retention. Also his consumption is convenient when there are used diuretics that eliminate the above mentioned mineral, and in case of bulimia due to the episodes of autoinduced vomiting that cause big losses. Nevertheless, the contribution of this mineral is restricted in case of sharp renal insufficiency or advanced chronicle, by what the apricots consumption in these cases will be done in a moderate way.

As regards the blood, it contributes minerals straight implied with the formation and maturation of the red globules: iron, copper and cobalt. Nevertheless, the iron that contributes the fresh or dried apricot finds in the chemical form not hemo, therefore the organism absorbs it in small quantity. To increase the absorption of this mineral, there is suitable to take the fruit as dessert of a varied meal, which has included other nutrients that increase his absorption, like the abundant proteins in meats, fish and eggs or the vitamin C of certain vegetables (pepper, tomato) and fruits (citrus fruits, kiwi, tropical fruits...).

The mature fresh apricots are rich in tannins, substances with astringent, anti-inflammatory and antirust properties. Some of the actions of the tannins are to dry and desinflamar the intestinal mucous membrane; the layer that upholsters the interior of the digestive conduit, by what his consumption is adapted in case of delicate stomach and heavy digestions.

The oxalic acid that the apricots contain can form salt with certain minerals like the calcium and form oxalato calcic, by what his consumption has to be born in mind if this type of kidney stones is endured, since it might aggravate the situation.



CURIOSITIES
They were the Arabs those who extended his cultivation for the Mediterranean coast. The name of the fruit corresponds to them also "- barquq" from which the word apricot comes.

From the sweet almond of his bone there is extracted oil much used in the making of cosmetics. Of the same bone the acid isolated itself in 1955 pangámico, known some decades ago as vitamin B 15, name that later has been rejected for there were no conclusive proofs that it is a vitamin, not of that in human beings reduces the levels séricos of cholesterol, as it had been supposed.


HOW TO PREPARE IT

Given his exquisite sweetness and his perfumed fragrance, the apricots are consumed principally like fresh fruit well mature, so if they are consumed when they are still green they turn out to be indigestible. Of the latter form, green and slightly hard, they can be cooked to use of filling in cakes and in froth, or to be pickled by vinegar and nails to prepare an excellent seasoning as accompaniment of the ham or of cold meats.

If they are big and fresh air, they can get ready on a puff pasta and make a cake. Also they can be poached by sugar and macerate in the same proportion of brandy and syrup.

If they are big and fresh air, they can get ready on a puff pasta and make a cake. Also they can be poached by sugar and macerate in the same proportion of brandy and syrup.

In Austria, the Knoedels or pastas of apricots are typical, that is prepared from the fruit fresh and bare, wrapped in a thin pasta that next is poached and is accompanied on melted warm butter.







DIETETIC COMMENT
APRICOTS TO THE CARAMEL

4
45'
minimum

Ingredients

- 6 apricots
- 100 grams of sugar
- 1 soup brandy spoonful
- 1 milk glass
- 1 fresh egg
- 1 cornstarch spoonful
- 1 spoonful of cut nut

How is it prepared

To open for the half the apricots and to extract the bone. Once bare and clean to place them in a receptacle with little water and the brandy. To set to boil during five minutes. To dissolve in a bowl of milk, the cornstarch and the sugar. To put the miscellany to the fire and to leave that he cooks removing until it thickens enough.

To extinguish the fire and to add to the resultant cream a well-worn egg egg yolk and the nuts. To remove well up to obtaining a homogeneous miscellany. To place halves of apricot in a source, with the hollow up and to add the cream between the halves. To put to fire sugar with little water until the caramel forms and to spill this one on the apricot. It is necessary to serve them next, without allowing to cool the caramel.



 
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