San Bernardino County
University of California
San Bernardino County

Posts Tagged: flavor

Something Sweet and Something Neat: Entomological Holiday Gifts at UC Davis

Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.

Just call these "something sweet" and "something neat." Yesterday on Bug Squad we featured holiday gifts available at the Bohart Museum of Entomology at UC Davis--from...

Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.
Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.

Sweet! The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is selling honey and offering free recipes.

UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) offers t-shirts year-around and they're especially popular during the hoidays. From left are president Brendon Boudintot, t-shirt coordinator Jill Oberski and Corwin Parker with their award-winning shirts. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) offers t-shirts year-around and they're especially popular during the hoidays. From left are president Brendon Boudintot, t-shirt coordinator Jill Oberski and Corwin Parker with their award-winning shirts. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

UC Davis Entomology Graduate Student Association (EGSA) offers t-shirts year-around and they're especially popular during the hoidays. From left are president Brendon Boudintot, t-shirt coordinator Jill Oberski and Corwin Parker with their award-winning shirts. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, December 14, 2018 at 3:12 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Food, Innovation, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Like to Know More About Honey?

Honey bee on honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Would you like to know more about honey? You're in luck. The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is hosting an educational honey tasting on Wednesday night, Jan. 27 in...

Honey bee on honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee on honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee on honeycomb. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 4:18 PM

A Taste of Honey

Jar of lavender honey rests next to the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center's Honey Flavor Wheel. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey connoisseur Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, opens the jar of lavender honey from France and sniffs the aroma. She breathes in...

Jar of lavender honey rests next to the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center's Honey Flavor Wheel. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Jar of lavender honey rests next to the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center's Honey Flavor Wheel. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Jar of lavender honey rests next to the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center's Honey Flavor Wheel. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The jar of lavender honey,
The jar of lavender honey, "miel de lavande," is from France. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The jar of lavender honey, "miel de lavande," is from France. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Amina Harris sniffs the aroma. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Amina Harris sniffs the aroma. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Amina Harris sniffs the aroma. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Honey! I Hardly Know You!

A golden honey bee (Cordovan of the Italian subspecies) nectaring lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Every time I see a golden jar of honey, I'm reminded of the Cordovan bee (Italian subspecies) that visited the Garvey bee garden back in 2010. I managed to capture a photo...

A golden honey bee (Cordovan of the Italian subspecies) nectaring lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A golden honey bee (Cordovan of the Italian subspecies) nectaring lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A golden honey bee (Cordovan of the Italian subspecies) nectaring lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee sipping nectar from lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee sipping nectar from lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee sipping nectar from lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Arrival of apricot season

The brief season of apricot harvest is upon us, and many fruit enthusiasts will soon bite into one of these small, delicate, yellowish-orange fruits. I grew up in a San Jose subdivision that was built on an apricot orchard. Each house had 2 or 3 apricot trees left on the lot, and so I have great memories of enjoying them fresh from the tree, still warm  from the sun and tartly sweet .  But, I have to admit that my favorite form of apricot then and now, are home-dried apricots. They sure were a great treat to find nestled in my trusty red-plaid metal lunchbox in the middle of winter.

Apricots have been grown in the fertile crescent of Persia for thousands of years. The colonists brought the apricot to North America, but most of the stock of today’s production comes from seedlings carried by the Franciscan friars who built the missions and brought much of Spain’s agriculture to California.

In recent years I have heard many disappointed comments at that first bite of a fresh apricot, and I was curious to check with University of California pomologists and USDA Agricultural Research Station specialists to see what progress was being made in bringing more flavorful apricots to consumers. Five different pomologists indicated that market produce buyers tend to primarily value color, size and firmness over the flavor of apricots.  The earlier the produce buyers can get them into the grocery store, the more highly they are valued, so they are often harvested before the fruit’s flavor has a chance to develop.   The experts I checked with all said they NEVER bought apricots anywhere except a farmer’s market or roadside stand.

The varieties most commonly grown in California are “Patterson”, “Tilton” and “Apache,” and they are selected by growers because of their early harvest dates, large size, attractive color, longer shelf life, and their ability to be used for either fresh or canning applications.  Tom Gradziel, a UC Davis professor of genetics and breeding of the Prunus species said, “In the Central Valley, most apricots are still going for processing. Therefore a dual market (processing or fresh) variety such as Patterson is often preferred. It has excellent color, size, and firmness, but tastes like cardboard."

The varieties that the pomologists included in their list of favorites are “Royal Blenheim,” “Robada,” “Katy,” “Primarosa” and “Derby.” Craig Ledbetter, a geneticist working with apricot breeding at the Parlier USDA Agricultural Research Service Center said, “We hear so much about flavor, but I don’t think flavor will be coming to the grocery stores unless in the form of overripe fruit. Here we breed for a sugar/acid balance. We have many breeding selections that taste absolutely fabulous, but are a bit smaller than growers desire.  Honestly, they don’t even want to look at ‘small’ fruit. It is a pity!” 

Selecting apricots. Apricots do not develop more flavor after they are picked, so select fruit that are completely yellow, deepening toward orange. The subtle, sweet scent of apricot is a good indicator that the inside will taste just as good.

Storing apricots. Keep them on the counter if you will eat them within 2 to 3 days, otherwise store ripe apricots in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag. 

How to enjoy apricots. Apricots have a pit in the center that is easily separated from the flesh. After washing the fruit, cut in half along the seam and remove the pit. Enjoy the whole fruit, or prepare in tarts, breads, jams, glazes for meats, salsa, or dry them in a dehydrator.

Apricot Tart

Pastry.

1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbls. granulated sugar
½ tsp. almond flavoring (optional)
½ c. unsalted butter, chilled
2 Tbls. Ice water

Using a pastry blender, stir together flour, salt and sugar, cut in butter until dough is in coarse crumbs.  Cut in water until pastry holds together when pinched, do not over mix. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap, form pastry into a ball and wrap with the plastic wrap. Refrigerate 60 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and place on lightly floured surface, roll out to a 12” – 14” circle.  Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and return to the refrigerator while preparing the apricot filling.

Apricot filling.

½ c. granulated sugar (or less if the apricots are sweet)
1 Tbls. cornstarch
Dash of salt
1 ½ lbs. (or 10 medium-large) fresh, ripe apricots, pitted and sliced into 1/4” slices

Place sugar, cornstarch and salt into a bowl and stir well, add sliced apricots and toss gently. 

Remove pastry from the refrigerator, place apricot filling in the center of the pastry, leaving a 2” border around the edge.  Gently fold the pastry border up on top of the apricots, folding the pastry up around the outside edges of the fruit and pinching folds to form a round tart.  Seal any cracks in the sides and bottom of the pastry so the juice doesn’t leak out on the baking sheet.  Leave the fruit showing in the center of the pastry. Sprinkle with a handful of sliced almonds if desired.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Excellent served with vanilla ice cream.

University of California Resources:

Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 9:53 AM
  • Author: Mary E. Reed
Tags: Apricots (2), Craig Ledbetter (1), Flavor (5), Tom Gradziel (1)
 
E-mail
 
Webmaster Email: jshartin@ucdavis.edu