I went to the Farmers market a couple of weeks ago without any intention of buying any apricots. I never liked apricots as I find them tasteless and sour / tart. I came across a stall manned by two teenagers and they were handing out samples of various varieties of apricots. People were swarming around their stall and buying kilos and kilos. This got my attention so I had to give the apricots a try. I tried a few and stumbled across a variety called Moorpark. They totally changed my opinion of apricots. They were full of flavour and sweetness, but I was still reluctant to buy some as among all the varieties available, the Moorpark is the most unattractive. Other varieties looked so much nicer, deep yellow, so plump and juicy in appearance.
I happened to have a chat with an old couple who told me that among all the varieties, Moorpark is the best in flavour as they have the most apricot taste. Because they look so unattractive, supermarkets seldom carry them so most people are not familiar with this variety. They sell the newer varieties as they are nicer in appearance but unfortunately do not taste anywhere near as nice as the Moorpark apricots. As you can see my opinion has now changed and I bought about 2 kilos of them. From now on, I'll be on the lookout for Moorpark... and so should you!
Since living in New Zealand, every December to March you can see cherries being sold everywhere. Last year, I discovered the Sweetheart variety... of course at that time I did not know they were called Sweetheart cherries. This year, I was super excited come December as I would be able to indulge myself with cherries. But everytime I went to buy some I discovered the flesh was soft instead of firm and was often disappointed as not only were they sour but also tasteless. I started to frequent Farmers markets in hope of finding the type of cherries I like. When I described the texture of cherries that I am after to the seller, they often tell me that those cherries are only available in February or March. It never occurred to me to ask the variety name as for me a cherry is a cherry, an apricot is an apricot, an apple is an apple...
While buying the Moorpark apricots, I found my beloved cherries. Only then did I learn they are called Sweetheart cherries. So, if you are like me who is fussy, and not any old variety of fruit will do, do learn the names of the variety of any fruits that you like... not the brand, mind you. It is true that the Sweetheart cherry tree is one of the last cherry trees to ripen during the season. It is also true that the cherries from these trees remain firm when they are picked and eaten.