Apricot

An apricot is a fruit, or the tree that bears the fruit, of several species in the genus Prunus (stone fruits).

Usually, an apricot tree is from the species P. armeniaca, but the species P. brigantina, P. mandshurica, P. mume, P. zhengheensis and P. sibirica are closely related, have similar fruit, and are also called apricots.[1]

Apricot and cross section
Apricot and its cross-section

Etymology

Apricot Etymology Map
Map of the etymology of 'Apricot' from Latin via Late and Byzantine Greek to Arabic, Spanish and Catalan, Middle French and so to English

The scientific name armeniaca was first used by Gaspard Bauhin in his Pinax Theatri Botanici (1623), referring to the species as Mala armeniaca "Armenian apple". Linnaeus took up Bauhin's epithet in the first edition of his Species Plantarum in 1753, Prunus armeniaca.[2] Apricot first appeared in English in the 16th century as abrecock from the Middle French aubercot or later abricot,[3] from Spanish albaricoque and Catalan a(l)bercoc, in turn from Arabic الْبَرْقُوق‎ (al-barqūq, "the plums"), from Byzantine Greek βερικοκκίᾱ (berikokkíā, "apricot tree"), derived from late Greek πραικόκιον (praikókion, "apricot") from Latin [persica] praecocia (praecoquus, "early ripening" [peach]).[4][5] [6]

Description

The apricot is a small tree, 8–12 m (26–39 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm (16 in) in diameter and a dense, spreading canopy. The leaves are ovate, 5–9 cm (2.0–3.5 in) long and 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) wide, with a rounded base, a pointed tip and a finely serrated margin. The flowers are 2–4.5 cm (0.8–1.8 in) in diameter, with five white to pinkish petals; they are produced singly or in pairs in early spring before the leaves. The fruit is a drupe similar to a small peach, 1.5–2.5 cm (0.6–1.0 in) diameter (larger in some modern cultivars), from yellow to orange, often tinged red on the side most exposed to the sun; its surface can be smooth (botanically described as: glabrous) or velvety with very short hairs (botanically: pubescent). The flesh is usually firm and not very juicy. Its taste can range from sweet to tart. The single seed is enclosed in a hard, stony shell, often called a "stone" or "kernel", with a grainy, smooth texture except for three ridges running down one side.[7][8]

Cultivation and uses

History

Preparing apricots. Alchi Monastery, Ladakh
Preparing apricots in the grounds of Alchi Monastery, Ladakh, India

The origin of the apricot is disputed and unsettled. It was known in Armenia during ancient times, and has been cultivated there for so long that it is often thought to have originated there.[9] Its scientific name Prunus armeniaca (Armenian plum) derives from that assumption. For example, the Belgian arborist baron de Poerderlé, writing in the 1770s, asserted, "Cet arbre tire son nom de l'Arménie, province d'Asie, d'où il est originaire et d'où il fut porté en Europe ..." ("this tree takes its name from Armenia, province of Asia, where it is native, and whence it was brought to Europe ...").[10] An archaeological excavation at Garni in Armenia found apricot seeds in a Chalcolithic-era site.[11] Despite the great number of varieties of apricots that are grown in Armenia today (about 50),[9] according to the Soviet botanist Nikolai Vavilov, its center of origin would be the Chinese region, where the domestication of the apricot would have taken place. Other sources say that the apricot was first cultivated in India in about 3000 BC.[12]

Its introduction to Greece is attributed to Alexander the Great.[12] Subsequent sources were often confused about the origin of the species. John Claudius Loudon (1838) believed it had a wide native range including Armenia, the Caucasus, the Himalayas, China, and Japan.[13]

Apricots have been cultivated in Persia since antiquity, and dried ones were an important commodity on Persian trade routes. Apricots remain an important fruit in modern-day Iran.

Egyptians usually dry apricots, add sweetener, and then use them to make a drink called amar al-dīn.

In England during the 17th century, apricot oil was used in herbalism treatments intended to act against tumors, swelling, and ulcers.[14]

In the 17th century, English settlers brought the apricot to the English colonies in the New World. Most of modern American production of apricots comes from the seedlings carried to the west coast by Spanish missionaries. Almost all U.S. commercial production is in California, with some in Washington and Utah.[15]

Cultivation practices

Apricots have a chilling requirement of 300 to 900 chilling units. A dry climate is good for fruit maturation. The tree is slightly more cold-hardy than the peach, tolerating winter temperatures as cold as −30 °C (−22 °F) or lower if healthy. They are hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8. A limiting factor in apricot culture is spring frosts: They tend to flower very early (in early March in western Europe), meaning spring frost can kill the flowers. Furthermore, the trees are sensitive to temperature changes during the winter season. In China, winters can be very cold, but temperatures tend to be more stable than in Europe and especially North America, where large temperature swings can occur in winter. Hybridisation with the closely related Prunus sibirica (Siberian apricot; hardy to −50 °C (−58 °F) but with less palatable fruit) offers options for breeding more cold-tolerant plants.[16] They prefer well-drained soils with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

Apricot cultivars are usually grafted onto plum or peach rootstocks. The cultivar scion provides the fruit characteristics, such as flavour and size, but the rootstock provides the growth characteristics of the plant. Some of the more popular US apricot cultivars are 'Blenheim', 'Wenatchee Moorpark', 'Tilton', and 'Perfection'. Some apricot cultivars are self-compatible and do not require pollinizer trees; others are not: 'Moongold' and 'Sungold', for example, must be planted in pairs so that they can pollinate each other.

Hybridisors have created what is known as a "black apricot" or "purple apricot", (Prunus dasycarpa), a hybrid of an apricot and the cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera). Other apricot–plum hybrids are variously called plumcots, apriplums, pluots, or apriums.

Pests and diseases

Apricot production (tonnes)
Country 2017
 Turkey
985,000
 Uzbekistan
532,565
 Italy
266,372
 Algeria
256,890
 Iran
239,712
World
4,257,241
Source: FAOSTAT, United Nations[17]

Apricots are susceptible to various diseases whose relative importance is different in the major production regions as a consequence of their climatic differences. For example, hot weather as experienced in California's Central Valley will often cause pit burn, a condition of soft and brown fruit around the pit.[18] Bacterial diseases include bacterial spot and crown gall. Fungal diseases include brown rot caused by Monilinia fructicola: infection of the blossom by rainfall leads to "blossom wilt"[19] whereby the blossoms and young shoots turn brown and die; the twigs die back in a severe attack; brown rot of the fruit is due to Monilinia infection later in the season. Dieback of branches in the summer is attributed to the fungus Eutypa lata, where examination of the base of the dead branch will reveal a canker surrounding a pruning wound.[20] Other fungal diseases are black knot, Alternaria spot and fruit rot, and powdery mildew.[21] Unlike peaches, apricots are not affected by leaf curl, and bacterial canker (causing sunken patches in the bark which then spread and kill the affected branch or tree) and silver leaf are not serious threats, which means that pruning in late winter is considered safe.[19]

Production

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, world production of apricots in 2017 was 4.3 million tonnes, led by Turkey with 23% of the world total (table). Other major producers (in descending order) were Uzbekistan, Italy, Algeria, and Iran.[17]

Nutrition

In a 100-gram amount, raw apricots supply 48 Calories and are composed of 11% carbohydrates, 1% protein, less than 1% fat and 86% water (table). Raw apricots are a moderate source of vitamin A and vitamin C (12% of the Daily Value each).

Dried apricots

Dried apricots are a type of traditional dried fruit. The world's largest producer of dried apricots is Turkey.[22] When treated with sulfur dioxide (E220), the color is vivid orange. Organic fruit not treated with sulfur dioxide is darker in color and has a coarser texture. When apricots are dried, the relative concentration of nutrients is increased, with vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium and iron having Daily Values above 25% (table).

Phytochemicals

Apricots contain various phytochemicals, such as provitamin A beta-carotene and polyphenols, including catechins and chlorogenic acid.[23] Taste and aroma compounds include sucrose, glucose, organic acids, terpenes, aldehydes and lactones.[24]

Apricot kernels (seeds) contain amygdalin, a poisonous compound. On average, bitter apricot kernels contain about 5% amygdalin and sweet kernels about 0.9% amygdalin. These values correspond to 0.3% and 0.05% of cyanide. Since a typical apricot kernel weighs 600 mg, bitter and sweet varieties contain respectively 1.8 and 0.3 mg of cyanide.

In culture

The apricot is the national fruit of Armenia, mostly growing in the Ararat plain.[25][26] It is often depicted on souvenirs.[27]

The Chinese associate the apricot with education and medicine. For instance, the classical word (literally: "apricot altar") (xìng tán 杏坛) which means "educational circle", is still widely used in written language. Chuang Tzu, a Chinese philosopher in the fourth century BC, told a story that Confucius taught his students in a forum surrounded by the wood of apricot trees.[28] The association with medicine in turn comes from the common use of apricot kernels as a component in traditional Chinese medicine, and from the story of Dong Feng (董奉), a physician during the Three Kingdoms period, who required no payment from his patients except that they plant apricot trees in his orchard upon recovering from their illnesses, resulting in a large grove of apricot trees and a steady supply of medicinal ingredients.[29] The term "expert of the apricot grove" (杏林高手) is still used as a poetic reference to physicians.

The fact that apricot season is short has given rise to the common Egyptian Arabic and Palestinian Arabic expression filmishmish ("in apricot [season]") or bukra filmishmish ("tomorrow in apricot [season]"), generally uttered as a riposte to an unlikely prediction, or as a rash promise to fulfill a request.

In Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, apricots are used to make Qamar al-Din (lit. "Moon of the Religion"), a thick apricot drink that is a popular fixture at Iftar during Ramadan. Qamar al-Din is believed to originate in Damascus, Syria, where the variety of apricots most suitable for the drink was first grown.[30][31]

The Turkish idiom bundan iyisi Şam'da kayısı (literally, "the only thing better than this is an apricot in Damascus") means "it doesn't get any better than this".

In the US Marines it is considered exceptionally bad luck to eat or possess apricots,[32] especially near tanks.[33] This superstition has been documented since at least the Vietnam War and is often cited as originating in World War II. Even naming them is considered unlucky,[34] so they are instead called "cots",[35] "Forbidden fruit" or "A-fruit".

Gallery

Dried date, peach, apricot, and stones. From Lahun, Fayum, Egypt. Late Middle Kingdom. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Dried date, peach, apricot, and stones. From Lahun, Fayum, Egypt. Late Middle Kingdom. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Marillenblüten

Blooms of an apricot

Apricot kernel (endocarp + seed)

Apricot's kernel (endocarp and seed)

Dried apricot 01 Pengo

Dried apricot, with dark colour because it has not been treated with sulfur dioxide (E220)

Сибирский абрикос

Prunus sibirica (Siberian apricot; hardy to −50 °C (−58 °F) but with less palatable fruit)

Turkey.Pasa Baglari005

Apricot tree in central Cappadocia, Turkey

Apricots Drying In Cappadocia

Apricots drying on the ground in Cappadocia

Syrian apricot paste 01

Syrian apricot paste

See also

References

  1. ^ Bortiri, E.; Oh, S.-H.; Jiang, J.; Baggett, S.; Granger, A.; Weeks, C.; Buckingham, M.; Potter, D.; Parfitt, D.E. (2001). "Phylogeny and systematics of Prunus (Rosaceae) as determined by sequence analysis of ITS and the chloroplast trnL-trnF spacer DNA". Systematic Botany. 26 (4): 797–807. JSTOR 3093861.
  2. ^ Linnaeus, C. (1753). Species Plantarum 1:474.
  3. ^ "abricot (French)". Centre National de Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales.
  4. ^ "Apricot". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  5. ^ "apricot". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014.
  6. ^ Dean, Sam (9 May 2013). "On the Etymology of the Word Apricot". Bon Appetit. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  7. ^ Flora of China: Armeniaca vulgaris
  8. ^ Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.
  9. ^ a b "VII Symposium on Apricot Culture and Decline". Actahort.org. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  10. ^ De Poerderlé, M. le Baron (1788). Manuel de l'Arboriste et du Forestier Belgiques: Seconde Édition: Tome Premier. Brussels: Emmanuel Flon. p. 682.
  11. ^ Arakelyan, B. (1968). "Excavations at Garni, 1949–50", p. 29 in Contributions to the Archaeology of Armenia. Henry Field (ed.). Cambridge.
  12. ^ a b Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Vol. 1, pp. 203–205. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  13. ^ Loudon, J. C. (1838). Arboretum Et Fruticetum Britannicum. Vol. II. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green and Longmans. pp. 681–684. The genus is given as Armeniaca.
  14. ^ Lewis, W. H. and Elvin-Lewis, M. P. F. (2003). Medical botany: plants affecting human health. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-471-62882-8.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  15. ^ Agricultural Marketing Resource Center: Apricots
  16. ^ "Prunus sibirica Siberian Apricot PFAF Plant Database". pfaf.org.
  17. ^ a b "Production Quantities of Apricots by Country in 2017; Crops/World Regions/Production Quantity from picklists". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Division (FAOSTAT). 2018. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  18. ^ Ingels, Chuck, et. al. (2007). The Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Deciduous Fruit and Nut Trees. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. p. 27. ISBN 1-879906-72-4.
  19. ^ a b Hessayon, D.G. (2004). The Fruit Expert. London: Expert Books.
  20. ^ Munkvold, Gary P. (2001). "Eutypa Dieback of Grapevine and Apricot". Plant Health Progress. doi:10.1094/PHP-2001-0219-01-DG.
  21. ^ Diseases of Apricot. The American Phytopathological Society
  22. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (ed.) (2007). The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195307962. p. 22.
  23. ^ Campbell, O. E.; Merwin, I. A.; Padilla-Zakour, O. I. (2013). "Characterization and the effect of maturity at harvest on the phenolic and carotenoid content of Northeast USA Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) varieties". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 61 (51): 12700–10. doi:10.1021/jf403644r. PMID 24328399.
  24. ^ Xi, W; Zheng, H; Zhang, Q; Li, W (2016). "Profiling Taste and Aroma Compound Metabolism during Apricot Fruit Development and Ripening". International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 17 (7): 998. doi:10.3390/ijms17070998. PMC 4964374. PMID 27347931.
  25. ^ Lehmann, Maike (2015). "Apricot Socialism: The National Past, the Soviet Project, and the Imagining of Community in Late Soviet Armenia". Slavic Review. 74 (1): 13. doi:10.5612/slavicreview.74.1.9. The apricot, being the Armenian national fruit...
  26. ^ Grigoryan, Marianna (25 June 2010). "Apricot Farmers Struggling in Armenia amid Crop Failure". EurasiaNet. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  27. ^ Schleifer, Yigal (2 July 2010). "More on Armenia's Bitter Apricot Harvest". EurasiaNet. Retrieved 15 July 2018. As a symbol of national pride the image of apricots is included in Armenian souvenirs.
  28. ^ "《莊子·漁父》". Ctext.org. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  29. ^ Guo, Zhaojiang (1995). "Chinese Confucian culture and the medical ethical tradition". Journal of Medical Ethics. 21 (4): 239–246. doi:10.1136/jme.21.4.239. PMC 1376720. PMID 7473645.
  30. ^ Robertson, Amy (2017-06-08). "All Over The World, Thirsty Muslims Have Their Ramadan Go-To Drinks". NPR. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  31. ^ Denker, Joel (2016-06-14). "'Moon Of The Faith:' A History Of The Apricot And Its Many Pleasures". NPR. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  32. ^ S.SGT. Bob Donner. "Taste for Apricots Canned at Cua Viet". US Marines Armored Tractor Division.
  33. ^ Cpl. Derek A. Shoemake (October 27, 2000). "Apricots, AAVs no happy pair".
  34. ^ Michael M. Phillips (March 3, 2003). "Superstitions Abound at Camp As Soldiers Await War in Iraq".
  35. ^ Paul Dickson (1994). War Slang: American Fighting Words & Phrases Since the Civil War. p. 267.

External links

  • The dictionary definition of apricot at Wiktionary
Annin tofu

Annin tofu (杏仁豆腐) or almond tofu is a soft, jellied dessert made of apricot kernel milk, (which is often translated as almond milk, as apricot kernel itself is often translated as "almond"), agar, and sugar. It is a traditional dessert of Beijing cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, Hong Kong cuisine, and Japanese cuisine. It is similar to blancmange.

The name "tofu" here refers to "tofu-like solid"; soy beans, which are the main ingredient of tofu, are not used. This naming convention is also seen in other east Asian dishes, e.g. Chinese yudoufu (鱼豆腐), Japanese tamagodofu.

Apricot (color)

Apricot is a light yellowish-orangish color that is similar to the color of apricots. However, it is somewhat paler than actual apricots.

Apricot Computers

Apricot Computers was a British company that produced desktop personal computers in the mid-1980s.

Apricot Stone

"Apricot Stone" is a song by Eva Rivas that was the Armenian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 held in Oslo, Norway. The song was written by two former Eurovision songwriters: Armen Martirosyan, composer of "Without Your Love", the first Armenian Eurovision entry by André; and Karen Kavaleryan, six-time lyricist for five different countries. The arrangement was provided by nationally recognized arranger and record producer Ara Torosyan.

The song featured the Armenian national music instrument duduk played by famous Armenian `dudukahar' Djivan Gasparyan, one of the oldest persons ever to feature in a Eurovision Song Contest performance, only beaten by Emil Ramsauer (95) of Takasa in 2013 for Switzerland. The instrument is traditionally made of apricot wood.

The apricot, known in Armenia since ancient times, has long been held as an emblem of the country which has been called "The motherland of the apricot."

Some have interpreted the lyrics of Apricot Stone to have a political message about the Armenian Genocide. Later in France, an Armenian representative gave a speech confirming this claim.

Cocktail

A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink, which is either a combination of spirits, or one or more spirits mixed with other ingredients such as fruit juice, lemonade, flavored syrup, or cream. There are various types of cocktails, based on the number and kind of ingredients added. The origins of the cocktail are debated.

Crème de Noyaux

Creme de Noyaux (pronounced [kʁɛm də nwajo]) is an almond-flavored crème liqueur, although it is actually made from apricot kernels or the kernels of peach or cherry pits, which provide an almond-like flavor. Both Bols and Hiram Walker produce artificially colored red versions of the liqueur (either of which contribute the pink hue to Pink Squirrel cocktails) while Noyau de Poissy from France is available in both clear (blanc) and barrel-aged amber (ambre) versions.

Through meticulous research over a period of several years, Tempus Fugit Spirits recreated in 2013 a 19th-century-style Crème de Noyaux, distilling both apricot and cherry pit kernels, amongst other botanicals and colored the liqueur with red cochineal, as was done in the past. Care was taken to remove the trace elements of hydrocyanic acid (cyanide) produced by this old process. Although the chemical was not present in a dangerous intensity, bottles of 19th-century Noyaux left for decades in the cellar would sometimes have all the cyanide float up to the top, with lethal results for the drinker of the first glass. Dorothy Sayers used this peculiarity of the old Crème de Noyaux in her short story "Bitter Almonds".

The name comes from the French noyau: "kernel, pit, or core". It is an ingredient in the Fairbank cocktail, the Pink Squirrel cocktail and in a cocktail called Old Etonian.

Dried apricot

Dried apricots are a type of traditional dried fruit. When treated with sulfur dioxide (E220), the color is vivid orange. Organic fruit not treated with sulfur vapor is darker in color and has a coarser texture. Generally, the lighter the color, the higher the SO2 content. Light-colored varieties (with the sulfur content of more than 2000 ppm) are banned in the European Union.

Apricots have been cultivated in Central Asia since antiquity, and dried ones were an important commodity on the Silk Road. They could be transported over huge distances due to their long shelf life. Before the 20th century, they were ubiquitous in the Ottoman, Persian, and Russian Empires. In more recent times, California was the largest producer, before being overtaken by Turkey, where about 95% of the production is provided by the Malatya Province.Small apricots are normally dried whole. Larger varieties are dried in halves, without the kernel or stone. In the former Soviet Union, the former are known as uryuk (урюк), used primarily for making kompots, and the latter as kuraga (курага). Mediterranean or Turkish varieties of dried apricots are typically dried whole and then pitted; whereas California varieties are halved and pitted before drying. Ethnic foods based on dried apricots include qubani ka meetha in India and chamoy in Mexico.

Dried apricots are an important source of carotenoids (vitamin A) and potassium. Due to their high fiber-to-volume ratio, they are sometimes used to relieve constipation or induce diarrhea. Dried apricots normally do not have any sugar added and have a low glycemic index. The maximum moisture rate allowed in Turkey is 25%.As to calories in dried apricots, 100 g contains approximately 241 calories. It’s not much for the ration of most people but for those who are trying to lose weight consumption of big amounts of dried fruit is not recommended.

Fruit preserves

Fruit preserves are preparations of fruits, vegetables and sugar, often stored in glass jam jars.

Many varieties of fruit preserves are made globally, including sweet fruit preserves, such as those made from strawberry or apricot, and savory preserves, such as those made from tomatoes or squash. The ingredients used and how they are prepared determine the type of preserves; jams, jellies, and marmalades are all examples of different styles of fruit preserves that vary based upon the fruit used. In English, the word, in plural form, "preserves" is used to describe all types of jams and jellies.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or gingko (both pronounced ), also known as the maidenhair tree, is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated, and was cultivated early in human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food.

Marillenschnaps

Marillenschnaps, also called Marillenbrand, is a fruit brandy made from apricots. It is mostly produced in the Wachau region of Austria, but similar apricot brandies are produced elsewhere. Many small orchards produce excellent home-made varieties of Marillenschnaps.

Marillen is an Austrian German term for apricots, which are known as Aprikosen in other German-speaking nations.

Metropolis (comics)

Metropolis is a fictional city appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, best known as the home of Superman. First appearing by name in Action Comics #16 (Sept. 1939), Metropolis is depicted as a prosperous and massive city in the Northeastern United States, within close proximity to Gotham City.

The co-creator and original artist of Superman, Joe Shuster, modeled the Metropolis skyline after Toronto, where he was born and lived until he was ten. Since then, however, the look and feel of Metropolis has been greatly influenced by New York City.Within the DC Universe, Metropolis is depicted as being one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world, having a population of 11 million citizens.In addition to Superman, the city is also home to other superheroes, such as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.

Paradise (cocktail)

The Paradise is an IBA official cocktail, and is classified as a "pre-dinner" drink, an apéritif.

The earliest known in-print recipe for the Paradise Cocktail was written by Harry Craddock in 1930. This cocktail is prepared using gin, apricot brandy (apricot liqueur), and orange juice in a 2:1:1 ratio, with a splash of lemon juice.

Phloretin

Phloretin is a dihydrochalcone, a type of natural phenols. It can be found in apple tree leaves and the Manchurian apricot.

Prunus armeniaca

Prunus armeniaca (meaning Armenian plum), the most commonly cultivated apricot species, also called ansu apricot, Siberian apricot, Tibetan apricot, is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation, though almost certainly somewhere in Asia. It is extensively cultivated in many countries and has escaped into the wild in many places.

Prunus mume

Prunus mume is an Asian tree species classified in the Armeniaca section of the genus Prunus subgenus Prunus. Its common names include Chinese plum and Japanese apricot. The flower is usually called plum blossom. This distinct tree species is related to both the plum and apricot trees. Although generally referred to as a plum in English, it is more closely related to the apricot.

In Chinese, Japanese and Korean cooking, the fruit of the tree is used in juices, as a flavouring for alcohol, as a pickle and in sauces. It is also used in traditional medicine.

The tree's flowering in late winter and early spring is highly regarded as a seasonal symbol.

Pálinka

Pálinka is a traditional fruit brandy in Central Europe with origins from the Carpathian Basin, known under several names, and invented in the Middle Ages. Protected as a geographical indication of the European Union, only fruit spirits mashed, distilled, matured and bottled, and similar apricot spirits from four provinces of Hungary can be called "pálinka", while "Tótpálinka" refers to wheat derived beverages. Törkölypálinka, a different product in the legal sense, is a similarly protected pomace brandy that is commonly included with pálinka. While pálinka may be made of any locally grown fruit, the most common ones are plums, apricots, apples, pears, and cherries.Similar products exist in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia known as Pálenka as well as in Romania under the name Pălincă.

Spanisch Brötli

Spanisch Brötli (English: "Spanish bun", also known as Spanisch Brödli, Spanischbrötli or Spanischbrödli) is a speciality pastry from Baden, Switzerland. It is a light, flaky pastry filled with a mix of roasted, crushed hazelnuts and apricot jam. Its structure has a square of dough for the lower portion, apricot and hazelnut filling for the middle portion, and a square of dough for the upper portion. It has an "X" (or "cross") cut into the top to allow for the food to vent hot air during baking.

Yerevan International Film Festival

The Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival (GAIFF) (Armenian: «Ոսկե Ծիրան» Երևանի միջազգային կինոփառատոն) is an annual film festival held in Yerevan, Armenia. The festival was founded in 2004 with the co-operation of the "Golden Apricot" Fund for Cinema Development, the Armenian Association of Film Critics and Cinema Journalists. The GAIFF is continually supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RA, the Ministry of Culture of the RA and the Benevolent Fund for Cultural Development.The objectives of the festival are "to present new works by the film directors and producers in Armenia and foreign cinematographers of Armenian descent and to promote creativity and originality in the area of cinema and video art".

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