With peach season starting in May, all the peach lovers out there are excitedly awaiting the arrival of juicy, fresh peaches in the grocery store. When they appear, it'll be time for peach pies, cobblers and cakes throughout America! However, another stone fruit comes into season in May as well: apricots. Which brings up the question- in the apricot vs peach debate, which do you choose?
Peaches, or Prunus persica, are the delicious, summery fruit that are tasty as a sweet snack or when baked into a dessert. These delicacies are known for their layer of soft fuzz, sweet flavor, juiciness and bright color. Their season is May through September in the United states, with peak harvest in July and August. Peaches are called a stone fruit because their soft flesh surrounds an edible seed.
The peach belongs to the genus Prunus, which also includes plums, almonds, apricots, and cherries in the rose family. Although peaches and nectarines are often seen as different species, they actually are the same, growing from the same tree. However, nectarines have a smooth skin rather than the characteristic fuzzy skin of the peach.
Not only are these summer fruits sweet and tasty, they are also full of health benefits! Peaches are only about 50 calories per fruit, but they're packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, Potassium, vitamin E and manganese. Peaches are also full of antioxidants, and they aid healthy digestion. Along with these, the high water content of peaches that makes them so juicy also means that they help with hydration.
What About Apricots?
Peaches and apricots are related, both popular stone fruits that are enjoyed in the summertime. The apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is native to Asia and grows on a small tree. These yummy little fruits are considered by some to be a small peach, but they are slightly different. Apricots have a smooth, velvety skin rather than a layer of fuzz. They are in season from May to August, but are often imported from South America off season.
Apricots are beloved for their tart flavor, which sets them apart from other types of stone fruit. This tartness can be too much for some, but many love the strong, tang of a fresh apricot. Their tartness also makes them perfect for baked goods. Apricots are popular both fresh and dried, but their dried counterparts will typically be more tart than fresh options.
Apricots also provide many health benefits, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium. They are an excellent source of beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all highly beneficial antioxidants. Apricots are best enjoyed with the skin on, since this has much of the fiber and nutrients.
Apricot vs Peach
In the apricot vs peach conversation, we've established that both peaches and apricots are delectable and nutritious, but they have as many differences as similarities. For one, apricots have a strong, tangy, tart taste where peaches have a sweet one. Along with this, peaches have more water, making them the juicier option of the two.
Another main difference between these two tasty fruits is their size- an apricot is about a quarter of the size of a peach. Because of this, the apricot seed is also smaller than that of the peach. Although they have their differences, you really can't go wrong with either fruit. Both peaches and apricots taste amazing on ice cream, in fruit salad, baked in a pie, or on their own. It's up to you and your individual preferences which stone fruit is the best!