The Astounding Apricot

Romantic legends of the Apricot’s journey to the orchards of California fascinate – be it a northern route from China to the Balkans or a a southern route from Armenia through Syria, Arabia, Greece, Italy, North Africa and later Russia, or a middle route from the Danube Valley to Germany with Roman soldiers playing a major role in the distribution of seeds. This illumination was delivered to ChezHelvetica via the SF Professional Food Society and our book club selection: California Apricots – The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley by Robin Chapman. Wonderful stories of the Spaniards from the eighteenth century who first planted Apricots in the Mission Santa Clara gardens to the post-World War II pioneering families (like the Chapmans, Berryessas and Marianis) who nurtured this delicacy. The first recipe served here was Apricot Couscous, courtesy of Tyler Florence through the Food Network. Lucsious dried Apricots (wrapping nutrients and even medicinal properties, according to the Chinese) mixed with Whole Wheat Couscous, Almonds, Parsley, Green Onion, Lemon Zest and Mint from the ChezHelvetica Garden. Next, Apricot Bars (a recipe from the book) made with Apricots, Pineapple, Raisins and Lemon Juice, transported us to the paradise so aptly named by Steve Jobs!

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