Apricots from Leonforte

Sowing

The apricot tree belongs to the same family and type of fruit as the cherry, peach, and plum. It’s called pricocu in Sicilian dialect. The leaves on this fruit tree are ovate. For the most part, flowers are solitary and white or light pink. It blossoms early and therefore is more subject to damage due to frost in the spring. Its fruit - apricots - contain an oval stone that is compressed sideways, with a sweet or bitter kernel.

Up until a few years ago, bare plants were pruned at the same time as new growth sometime around February. Floral buds began forming and the plants were constantly taken care of throughout the year: Branches were trimmed and the plants were fertilized.

However over the last few years, the decision was made to let the plant follow its natural course without any scheduled interventions or treatments. Perhaps scheduled trimming will be performed in a few years, and the quality of the product has remained unchanged.

 
Harvesting

Ripening periods generally go from May to August. Production peaks in July. Apricots are picked when they are ripe but still compact. Full, reddish-orange, soft but not mushy and juicy fruit is preferred for picking.

Picking is manual and is staged - fruit is picked as it ripens. The processing step in the laboratory takes place the day after the fruit is picked and involves stoning, cleaning, washing and manually filling jars. Fruit is integrated with a syrup made with cane sugar, lemon and water. This is followed by pasteurization.


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