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Black Apricots -- Has anyone tried these?

I love searching the produce section of various markets to try items that are new to me. This time I found BLACK APRICOTS, right at Gelson's (Westlake Village). I think they are from India. I have not tried them yet because they need to soften at room temperature for a few days before they reach their prime. I don't know how long they will be available, so I thought I would post before I even tried them.

Has anyone tried these?

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  1. I've had them in dried form, from Trader Joe's. I did not like them at all. I think these were Turkish, but I'm not positive anymore. I forget why I didn't like them, it's been quite a while. But that was dried, I definitely want to hear how they are fresh.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Omnivore

      I've had the dried ones from Trader Joe's mentioned here. I really liked them, in contrast. They were softer and stickier than the typical sulphured dried apricots. they tasted less like candy, in contrast to the typical dried apricots that we've all eaten. I was a big fan of these. In fact, I bought a bunch of packages because you never know when TJ's will yank them off the shelves... better horde before they break my heart.

      1. re: glutton

        I've been trying to remember more about them, it's been a couple of years at least since I had them. They definitely were not soft and sticky as I remember, in fact I think they were actually difficult to chew. Maybe a different kind, different brand or just a bad batch? Hopefully I will be able to get to TJ's this weekend and just may buy them again and give them another go. I'm currently living in Chow Hell - TJ's, and most things good, are about 90 minutes away. Such a pain.)

        1. re: Omnivore

          I just am not sure if an unsulphured apricot that turns "black" is the same as these black apricots from India...very different, I think.

          1. re: liu

            Was just about to say that!

            The black dried one is something you'll find in the organic or "natural" section, it just doesn't have sulphur which some people are allergic or find it irritating (like myself) ... the black apricot itself is very interesting and I've never heard of it!

    2. I'd be interested in trying these. Never liked the pale orange sickly sweet dried apricots that most U.S. grocery stores carry. I definitely prefer the more flavorful almost caramel like taste of dried Indian ones. Dried ones used to have a beige color and if you crack the stone inside, you're rewarded with a sweet little almond. But fresh were never available where I grew up.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sweetTooth

        Where are you geographically (not on your profile)?

        I am about to try these tonight. In one day on the kitchen counter, they softened nicely. I will report back.

        1. re: liu

          Now in LA, grew up in India. Looking forward to hearing about those turned out! How much did they cost roughly?

      2. The fresh black apricots sat on the counter for one day after purchase to soften. We tried them tonight, and they taste like a cross between an apricot and a plum; the taste is definitely an apricot, and the juiciness is that of a plum. They were delicious, but there is nothing really that unusual about them. You will enjoy a pluot just as much, and they are probably more available and more reasonable. I would not chase to buy these again.

        4 Replies
        1. re: liu

          I suspect that they ARE pluots - we got some a couple weeks ago that were very dark and had a slightly fuzzy surface like an apricot, very similar to what you describe.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Jen, I was told that what I was purchasing were black apricots and not pluots...doesn't REALLY matter because I will not look for them again.

            1. re: liu

              I know it doesn't matter, The SF Chronicle recently had an article on them and wrote:

              "The black apricot, a plum-apricot cross, tastes and looks like a plum except for the faintest fuzziness on its burgundy skin. It has a syrupy sweet, meaty golden flesh and is sold at Berkeley Bowl"


              Maybe the plucot has a smooth skin and the Black Apricot has the fuzzy skin ... amoung other things.

              I'm not that fond of plums and even less of plum-apricot crosses. It didn't sound that tasty, but if I stop by the Berkeley Bowl for my yuzu paste, at this point, I just might pick one up.

              1. re: rworange

                Hi! Black apricots and yuzu paste...uh...don't think so!

                As you described above, the black apricot is exactly that! So it IS a cross; you can definitely taste the plum, but mostly it tastes like an apricot. If you are in that direction, do pick one up and try it...let me know!

                Meanwhile...keep on POSTING as only YOU can do. You have some terrific posts on this board! Thanks, rworange.

        2. There are quite a few references available online. According to one it was hybridized in Fresno. Found some at our local market.

          1. Found some yesterday in Chinatown in SF. Haven't seen these before, we will probably try them this week. Are they really just ho-hum? They would make a pretty dramatic looking tart.

            1. I bought these today at Remke/Bigg's Hyde Park store today in Cincinnati Ohio and they were like eating candy...sweet and juicy...best thing I ever ate!!!!

              6 Replies
              1. re: girlscookin

                Thanks for posting, girlscookin!
                I haven't yet seen them this year, but I thank you for the reminder to look for them.

                1. re: liu

                  I just had one of these...delicious and better than I remember!
                  Thanks, girlscookin, for reminding me about these July treats!

                  1. re: liu

                    Just to keep things clear, there appear to be TWO different fruits currently trading under the name of "black apricots". Both are presumably actually some sort of pluot though they seem to be on opposite ends of the plout spectrum. What most people here seem to be describing is the type that, at least around me goes under the trade name of "black velvet" and I agree it is quite good. However there is also a smaller one currently being sold under the name of Blue velvet. This sis also presumably a pluot but it seems to be much closer to the apricot side than Black Velvet is. It is far closer in size to a convetional apricot, and in fact taste pretty much like one. Indeed the only plummish trait its seems to posess, besides its dark skin and somewaht darker flesh is a "cling" pit with somewaht sour flesh immediately around it. Its not a bad fruit but not much different than a conventional apricot in taste.

                    1. re: jumpingmonk

                      Thanks for so much information, jumpingmonk, and for the distinction between the apparently two different types.

                      The ones that we are consuming -- at the rate of a couple/per person at each meal -- are sold as "black apricots." They are the size of a large apricot, with a fuzzy (like an apricot) and very, very dark purple (almost black) skin. They are sugar through and through, with no bitterness as you are describing. The fruit, does stick to the pit as you mentioned. They are exceptionally juicy...more like a plum than an apricot. Moreover, they are far more fragile than a pluot; I don't know if they would last on a counter like a pluot might, because we eat them too quickly!

                      1. re: liu

                        That sounds more or less like the "black velvet", except the black velevets are a bit bigger closer to medum plum size (though I imagine that fruit size varies depending on who's doing the growing, by now it is likey that they are no longer the produce of a single orchard). And they are extrmemely fragile of the four I bough yesterday ony one made it home unruptured, and even that was basically a bag of juice. Basically I didn;t eat my black velevets, I drank them.

                        1. re: jumpingmonk

                          There were six of us tonight for dinner and everyone really enjoyed them.
                          They are not small...perhaps the size of a plum.
                          Thanks for sorting out all of this, jumpingmonk!

              2. Found these @ The Milk Pail Mkt. today @ $.99 a #. The bin of them were in fairly good shape and mine were juicy, & sweet. I'm thinking to return for more & make a pie.

                2 Replies
                1. re: letsindulge

                  Hi, letsindulge!
                  I like your picture. Thanks for reminding me that it's that time of year!

                  1. re: liu

                    There is apparently now a more "normal" looking fuzzy plout member of this group; I found some last week that had fuzzy skins but were pale red with yellow orange flesh. Taste sorta between apricot and plum as might be expected.