Masumoto, the brilliant farmer known for peaches and nectarines, started growing Golden Sweet Apricots a few years ago in small quantities. We’re fortunate to get a sizable haul from the farm and find the apricots to be rich in flavor yet not overly sweet. We lovingly keep the pits, toasting them and then cracking them open to retrieve the almond looking kernels (Noyaux), which we toast again and then steep in the jam as it is being made. There is an amaretto flavor added to the final product, yet stemming completely from the apricot in entirety. It’s a labor of love product–this extra step yields an unmatched essence only derived from this effort.
A few weeks later, my favorite apricot of the year, the Blenheim, descends onto the farmer’s market from Mike Cirone of See Canyon. Mike’s land is dry-farmed yielding an aromatic, honeysuckle-like scented apricot with a flavor balance both sweet and tart, and, well, apricot-y fruit.
"The Blenheim apricot has been grown in the Santa Clara Valley region of California since the early 1900, a time when it was one of the most widely planted apricot varieties. By the 1960s the Blenheim —once the lord of California’s apricot orchards—began a slow decline, losing out in sales to earlier-maturing and more transportable varieties.” Today the Blenheim finds itself on the Slow Food Ark of Taste, as Blenheim Apricot product is down over 90% from the 1960s though, “ the revival of the Blenheim is happening at local farmers markets where long-distance shipping is not a critical issue.”
Arriving a little later, the Bonny Royals are larger, firmer, and juicier than Blenheims; it may be heresy, but many people say the flavor is more intense!!!
This is the second year we are canning Bonny Royals--all from Andy's Orchards--and it is a gorgeous, high intensity apricot jam with only a few jars made, which is why we’re only offering the Bonny in this Jam Capsule 3-pack, to taste alongside of the other summery apricot varietals–what a treat!!!