The appearance of apricots at farmers' markets and supermarkets is an exciting time of year. They start to crop up around late May or the beginning of June, and signal an unofficial start to summer in the minds of many cooks. The season for apricots is fairly short, reaching its peak in July, so, it's best to take full advantage of these lovely stone fruit quickly because before you know it, they'll be gone and you'll have to wait another year to indulge in them again.
When ripe, apricots have an aroma and flavor reminiscent of cinnamon and vanilla that sets them apart from other stone fruit, and flesh that comes easily away from the pit. Apricots come in dozens of varieties, but esoteric varieties are most easily found in farmers' markets.
While they are delicious to eat on their own, they're also fantastic baked into tarts, blended into salad dressing, and when the season nears the end, turned in to jam, of course. For some great recipe ideas, check out the slideshow.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.