If we were creating a Republican Calendar today Apricot would probably appear – but not for the fruit – but for the Birmingham computer (or ordinateur for those who have crossed to the other side of the force) company that started in 1965. Changing its name from Applied Computer Techniques (ACT) to Apricot the marketing consultants no doubt suggested jumping into the fruit bowl of new brand names such as Blackberry and Apple.
Apricot has been a recognised colour for ages – following the French nomenclature of naming colours after fruits: marron, rose, lemon, noisette etc.
But it’s more recognized at local markets where it is available in huge quantities at this time of year.
Seeds or kernels of the apricot grown in central Asia and around the Mediterranean are so sweet that they may be substituted for almonds. The Italian liqueur amaretto and amaretti biscotti are flavored with extract of apricot kernels as well as almonds.
However . . .
Apricot seeds can sometimes be strong-tasting and bitter. Taken in excess, they may produce symptoms of cyanide, including nausea, fever, rash, headaches, insomnia, increased thirst, weakness, various aches and pains in joints and muscles, and a drop in blood pressure.
In 1993, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets tested the cyanide content of two 220 gram packages of apricot kernels that were imported from Pakistan and were being sold in health-food stores as a snack. The results showed that each package, if consumed entirely, contained at least double the minimum lethal dosage of cyanide for an adult human. The apricot pits were recalled and removed from stores. In spite of this, there were no USA deaths and only one serious toxicity from apricot kernels reported from 1979 to 1998. On average, an apricot kernel contains about 0.5 mg of cyanide. Extract from Wikipedia
So no need to reach for the rat poison ladies, just hightail it down to the local health-food store and fill your basket with Apricot kernels. (but leave no evidence of reading it here !)