Apricots are a stone fruit related to plums, peaches, cherries and almonds. The fruit is known for its yellow/orange color and pleasant flavor. It is often eaten raw, dried, preserved and can also be used in a variety of recipes. The fruit grows on the apricot tree, which is a relatively small tree that can reach 12 m (39 ft) tall. If you have ever wondered where apricots originated from, keep reading to find out.
Where do apricots come from?
Apricots have been domesticated since ancient times, which makes it hard to determine exactly where they originate from. A relatively common theory is that they originated in Armenia because they have been cultivated in this region for so long. However, other theories suggest that the apricot was first domesticated in China or India around 3000 BC.
The spread of the apricot to Europe probably occurred around 100-50 BC and is attributed to the Roman general Lucullus and Alexander the Great. The apricot spread to the Americas via the English and Spanish settlers and today they are grown across the globe.
Where are apricots grown today?
The largest producer of apricots is Turkey. Other large producers are also located close to this region and include Iran, Uzbekistan, Italy, Algeria. Smaller producers can be found right around the world and apricots are grown on every continent on Earth, apart from Antarctica.
Did you know?
Each fruit has a single seed (kernel), which is enclosed in a shell (often called a stone). Each of these seeds contain about 0.5 g (0.2 oz) of the poison hydrogen cyanide. Despite this, and the fact that the FDA has warned against their use, they are sometimes used and promoted as an alternative cancer treatment. It is estimated that 50-70 kernels would be enough to kill and adult and just 7-10 could kill a child!