Apricots are at their juiciest when purchased at a farmers market during peak season, but when shopping for them at the grocery store year-round, here’s a hint for finding the freshest ones in the bunch. Look for firm and plump apricots that are deep orange or gold in color, rather than pale orange or yellow, according to NPR. If it has passed the test thus far, give the apricot a light squeeze. It should give a little bit, but if it’s too soft, that’s a sign the fruit is past its prime. You can also rely on your sense of smell, as fresh and ripe apricots have a sweet, floral scent.
Once you get your apricots home if they need to ripen a bit further, leave them on the counter, but remember not to refrigerate stone fruit. Once apricots are ripe, they don’t last very long, so be sure to eat them within a day or two of bringing them home from the grocery store, per Verywell Fit, if you plan on eating them fresh. On the other hand, if you plan on cooking with them, try preparing this recipe for apricot-cardamom preserves to slather on toast.