(See Marmalade).

The Apricot, Armeniaca, is a beautiful stone fruit,; of a rich reddish, yellow colour, "shining," as Ruskin has said, 'in sweet brightness of golden velvet." Its name originated in the Roman epithet "praecox,"early; because of its ripening so soon in the season. Shakespeare has told of it as "apricock." At the Cape, Apricots, dried and salted, are commended as remedial against sea sickness. They go by the name of "Mebos,"and are a delicious confection.

The stones of Apricots are imported because of their kernels, which contain Noyau freely. At Cairo the pulp is made into a luscious paste, which is slightly dried, and then rolled, incorporating the kernels. In Italy the fruit is cut in half, the stones being removed, and the pulp spread out for a while in a spent oven. These are the dried "Italian Apricots" of the shops. Take soft, ripe Apricots, lay them in salt water (about two ounces of salt to a quart bottle) for a few hours; then spread them on a mat to dry in the sun. The next day press them between the hands to flatten, and to let the stones come out. Again the next day repeat the same process. At the Cape these generally dry, and become "Mebos,"after three or four days in the sun; but if the weather should be damp they may be dried in heated rooms, or in a cool oven. To crystallize the "Mebos,"lay them in lime water for five minutes till they feel nicely tender; then take them out, and wipe them with a soft cloth, and rub coarse crystallized sugar well into each fruit. One and a half pounds of the sugar will serve for one pound of Mebos. Next pack closely in jars, with plenty of sugar interposed, and cork well.

A green Apricot tart is considered by many persons the best tart that is made; but a green Apricot pudding is still better, just as a cherry dumpling is superior to a cherry tart. As to the medicinal virtues which have been attributed to what old John Gerarde, Master in Chirurgeries, 1636, styled the abrecock tree, "the fruit thereof being taken after meat, do corrupt, and putrifie in the stomacke; being first eaten before meat they easily descend, and cause other meats to passe down the sooner; but the virtues of the leaves of this tree are not yet found out".