After saying that I donated to Courage Campaign, I don’t know how to say that I really love fruits without sounding like I’m talking about the gays. But let’s get it out of our systems and accept that I’m talking about food. I mean, I love both. But I’m TALKING about apples, peaches, strawberries, etc etc etc.
But there are some varieties of fruit that fly below my radar. Apricots are in that category. I LOVE dried apricots (preferably California apricots… state loyalty, I guess– or racism?).
I was introduced to dried apricots at a youngish age (maybe… 8?), when my dad brought home a huge bag of amazing dried fruits. He had discovered a store in the mall called California Orchards (I think), which seemed to sell every type of dried fruit under the sun– literally, because… you know, dried. (Sorry.)
Despite my love for dried apricots, to my knowledge I’ve never eaten fresh apricots.
The one exception to this rule is a legendary apricot pie.
The summer after my sophomore year of college, I interned for some really cool film producers. One of the producers was a really wonderful man who always dressed impeccably in three-piece suits. Toward the end of my internship he was up in San Francisco for some reason or another, and drove back to Los Angeles. (This becomes important later.)
“Do you like apricots?” he asked me, in his awesomely deep voice. I explained that I liked DRIED apricots, but I’d never had fresh ones. That was good enough for R. He presented me with an apricot pie, which he’d picked up somewhere along the road.
Readers, that pie was A-MAZING. I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it ran out. I can’t remember if there was a name on the box, and periodically I try to Google phrases such as “apricot pie stand central California,” but so far I don’t think I’ve located it.
I supposed I could just email him and ask, but that would be boring. I kind of like the mysteriosity of it all.
I miss that guy.
But I don’t count that pie as eating a fresh apricot, because those puppies were glazed in sweet sugary deliciousness.
(And–strangely enough– the dried apricot place disappeared from the mall, never to return.) (Apricot conspiracy!)
Anyway, my cube-mate here at the office is a Renaissance man, or a jack-of-all-trades, or some expression like that. He has vast knowledge in many categories. And he brings a lot of his own fruit into the office. We’ve had white nectarine vs. yellow nectarine taste tests (the grocer told him white was best; we both preferred yellow), and several discussions about the merits of various other varieties of fruit.
Yesterday, he asked if I like apricots. I explained that I love DRIED apricots, and I told him about the legendary pie. He handed me an apricot, and I asked… How do I eat it? Can I eat the skin? (This is generally why I don’t eat new fruits until introduced by an expert– I want to know the protocol.)
B explained that I should cut it along the seam and remove the pit. I didn’t even know that there WAS a pit! But there is. There really is.
And thus, I ate a ripe apricot. (Apparently it’s really hard to find a good, ripe apricot.)
The apricot-eating attracted the attention of co-worker D, and she and B swapped childhood memories of climbing apricot trees and twisting ripe apricots open at the seams. It was all very feel-goody, Norman Rockwell. I was always terrified of climbing trees. At one time we had an avocado tree in my backyard, and I just tried to avoid getting fatally bopped in the head by falling avocados. (Ironically, I often wandered the yard while fretting about my unavoidable and impending death. Ah, the innocence of youth.)
My childhood was more Woody Allen movie than Norman Rockwell painting. (The movie would be called, “You will meet a series of tall non-strangers who will introduce you to various forms of apricots.” Er, that’s more of a Fiona Apple-style movie title.)
Now I mostly fret about why Angelina from “Jersey Shore” is such an f’ing cockblock. And whether I will ever meet my maker… of the most delicious apricot pie ever. (If you have any leads, let me know.)