There are apricots and then there are Blenheim apricots. They have a royal pedigree (or at least a palace). They inspire local businesses. They hobnob among the likes of Michael Pollan, Christopher Kimball, and yes, The Weekly's own Jonathan Gold. They're also notoriously bad at following instructions (knowing when to grow, how to mature, how long to stick around). Fame can be a bitch.
Blenheims are in season right now, but just for another week, maybe two, says Mike Cirone, who grows the notoriously finicky apricots with a cult-like flavor following (you can find him at the Wednesday Santa Monica market beneath the See Canyon umbrella). He says this was an odd year (and clarifies that it's always an odd year for such coveted items).
"Once they get color on them, your time frame is always narrow to get them to market. They freckle, they discolor." But he says the unusually heavy rains in May ("Or who knows what it was?") made for a tight yet very flavorful crop that will, as usual, be gone in a blink.
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Withdrawal sucks. But hey, the rest of the year is yours to slather with Blenheim apricot jam from We Love Jam. It's bound to be good -- these are Blenheims. Some folks have even called it the best jam they've ever tasted. And thus it sells out every year, even at Hollywood prices ($10 a jar). But this stuff is good. Really, really good. And yes, we even spread it on cookies. It's not jam. It's jam.