You probably already know that Uzbekistan is full of fruits, berries and vegetables that grow from early spring to late autumn? Then we will not dwell on this in more detail, we will talk about the apricot – the fruit tree that blooms before everyone else.
What is apricot?
Apricot (also often called “Urik”) is a variety of small apricots. Fear not, their size did not affect their usefulness and taste in any way, so if you are planning a trip to Uzbekistan, be sure to try and buy some home.
Apricot blooms really earlier than all other fruit trees – in early spring. It happens even so early that the green trees are covered with snow (by the way, it looks very beautiful). So in Uzbekistan, spring is associated with the flowering of apricots, and not apple, plum, and cherry trees, as we are used to.
Where are apricots grown?
If you dream of trying apricot, go to the Fergana Valley, Tashkent and Surkhandarya regions. It is here that apricots are grown from early spring to the very first snow.
What are the varieties?
No, do not think that there are large apricots and small apricots. In fact, everything is not so simple: there are many varieties of apricots, which differ in taste, shape and size. For example, the smallest variety of apricots is smaller than the size of a walnut.
The apricot is different and is used in different situations. Large apricots are dried, other types are used to prepare various drinks, such as compote.
The drying technology can also be different: if the berries can be easily divided into two halves, the locals separate the bone, if it is difficult to separate, they dry it along with it.
And there is also a variety that is not plucked and dried directly on trees, in its natural environment.
How to eat dried fruit?
Locals add apricots to all kinds of dishes and drinks, make jams and preserves, add them to marshmallows and eat with pancakes.
Before using dry apricots, it is better to rinse them with warm water to soften them. You can eat it with bread, rolls and Uzbek flatbreads.
If you come to cook compote, it is better to add sugar last, little by little, when the drink is ready, and do not forget to taste it for sweetness. If you do not like too sweet compote, you can not add sugar at all – then the drink will be a little sour.
Apricot bones should not be thrown away. It is better to try another local dish – salted bones, which are baked in ash. Just be careful: the salty bones are so delicious that it is very difficult to come off them.
Dried apricots are the most beneficial for health. The drying process allows you to remove moisture, preserve all the useful elements and the presentation of the fruit both for transportation and for storage at home. It is advisable to eat apricots in winter, when the body lacks nutrients and vitamins. Agree, this is much better than drinking pharmacy vitamins. You can also cook compote to drink instead of soda, water or tea.
Dried fruits contain a lot of useful acids, vitamins, dietary fiber and vegetable proteins. Even dried fruits are very sweet, but they work quite the opposite – they burn fat in the human body.
Did you eat green apricots when they are just starting to ripen? Believe it or not, this is exactly what the local shkolota does with the apricot.
Thanks to children, there was a demand for green apricots, so local residents quickly began to sell it in bazaars and markets.
We recommend to try: they did not have time to ripen, but they are very tasty.
How to store dried fruits
We do not even doubt that if you go to Uzbekistan, you will surely take an apricot with you. This is normal, as all tourists do.
The main thing is, do not forget to store dried fruits correctly so that they do not lose their beneficial properties and do not deteriorate.
It is best to keep the dried fruit in a rag bag to keep it breathing. This is important because some moisture remains in them after drying, otherwise they will stick together and become moldy.
If you are planning a trip to Uzbekistan, be sure to try the apricot. You can also bring it home to your loved ones as a useful souvenir, instead of magnets and unnecessary gizmos.
Such dried fruits will come in handy at any time of the year: in the summer – boil the compote, in the winter – to replenish the supply of vitamins. The main thing is not to forget to store dried fruits correctly so that they survive until winter.