505: Apricots

Molly 0:04

I'm Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:05

And I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:05

And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all. And I talk with my hands even though you can't see me doing it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:12

And this episode was suggested by listener Nicole who suggested apricots. Yay, I

Molly 0:18

cannot believe Okay, this is episode number 505. Yeah, for those who are counting, it's taken us this long to talk about apricots.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:27

I have to level with you. I don't know if I like apricots.

Molly 0:32

So we're sitting here with a bunch of apricots on the table. It

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:35

looks like a fucking still life. And right here, man,

Molly 0:37

Matthew was just like, oh, what what should we do with the

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:42

know what I meant? was like, do we need like a knife? Do you want to like cut them with a knife or something?

Molly 0:47

So one thing I want to talk about here is that apricots are what I'd like the only fruit that I usually before I reached for a knife. I tried to pull them like into two pieces, just with my hands. Okay, I don't think I do that with any other fruit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:01

I mean, their fruits that I that I do that we use in my tea. Like I we just got some cherries. Have you tried? Have you tried these?

Molly 1:08

Yeah, but I don't usually, like, separate them into two halves.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:12

I understand. Yeah. Although when I mean, when you when you do like they look like a little. I was gonna say there's like a cherry that's been cut. But that's not true.

Molly 1:22

No, it's not true at all. But you know what, Matthew? I'm so glad that you brought up cherries, because actually, wait a minute. Wait, are they are they drupes are cherries. drupes Oh, you know, they're drupes because apricots are drupes and we're going to get to that

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:38

these are these are all like like rose family fruits. Right? I don't know a genus prunus genus pernis. Yeah.

Molly 1:45

Okay. All right. We'll get there. We'll get there. But anyway, first, we should begin on memory lane here with with apricots. And I'm going to lead us off, please. So I remember as a kid, I just remember it being like a thing about my mom, aka Tony Negroni that she liked apricots. And I remember her getting excited when apricots would appear in the grocery store. I remember her coming home and I think she was the first person I ever saw. kind of put her finger in the the stem end and pry and apricots apart into two halves.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:17

Okay, yeah, no, I'm excited to try that it sounds really like sensual and tactile.

Molly 2:22

Yeah, you can try it later with your spouse.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:24

We're just each getting tagged Kevin afrikan and just kind of dig our thumbs in there and yeah, see how it goes? Yeah,

Molly 2:29

yeah. Okay, cuz

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:31

I mean these do they do have a very like like sort of human like shape?

Molly 2:35

Yeah, you did just compliment one of these apricots on it's it's the shape of its rear end.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:41

Oh, yeah. No, it's thick. It is it's these are these are some thick thick cots memory lane. Okay, so first of all, like when you mentioned that like I feel like I remember. Thank you This

Molly 2:52

This one's really anatomical

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:55

It really is. Yeah. So it's like like the the millennials will be definitely a dating this.

Molly 3:03

Wait a minute, what do millennials have to do? There's

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:05

there's like a, like a conventional wisdom is that millennials love eating ass. Just do it all day long. And that's so serious. Oh, my God, this

Molly 3:16

show is not saved for June. But what else? Wait a minute. What

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:21


Molly 3:23

Wait, where does this kind of stuff come from?

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:27

I don't know. I mean, I assume it's okay. Well, your generation X. Yeah, but I'm like really on that you're really on the cost. You're almost a millennial, but I think the judges are going to rule against you. Yeah,

Molly 3:40

no, I think like, spiritually, I'm more Generation X. And what are we known for liking to eat?

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:46

I mean, I guess like, pizza.

Molly 3:51

Okay, all right. I'll take that.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:54

Wait a minute. Like what are we known for? Like, like, sexually? I mean, what Hell no, because we because we're like, like out the generation after like the sexual revolution.

Molly 4:04

We're like the generation that has like depressed sex.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:08

No, I don't want to be known for that. No at all.

Molly 4:13

I was just thinking like, grunge

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:18

Yeah, that's interesting. Like, you know, man in the box is playing

Molly 4:30

someone I know. Yeah. I'm not gonna say who like once got set up on a date with some dude. And anyway, like, they were having a nice time or whatever. And they were back at his place. And he went into, like the bathroom or the bedroom and emerged totally naked. Okay, Death Metal playing in the background, and I can't imagine it's a bold move. Yeah, less tariff like it anything more terrifying than that. Like I'm gonna say Like a naked guy who surprises you with his nakedness and he's playing deathmatch

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:05

these are this is like maybe that like these two surprises together would kind of cancel each other out and go back around to being like cool or alluring, but I don't think he was right.

Molly 5:14

Right. You should try it later.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:16

here's here's what I think. I think our generation is known for being like the generation that's really good at oral and the reason we're so good at it is because we listen to man of the box so many times and we just go

Molly 5:28

Wait a minute, you've been working on that the whole time. I was telling this little minis you're

Unknown Speaker 5:35


Matthew Amster-Burton 5:39

yeah, that's how I do I like sing really loud.

Molly 5:42

But you just stick your tongue out and go like

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:46

for the sake of the joke, let's say yeah, okay, that's how it that's how it's done. Wow, I

Molly 5:50

did it. I haven't done it wrong. But

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:52

I feel like our show like God kind of do it for a while and then we kind of backed off of that for a couple years. And now I think we're back I licked

Molly 5:59

the Michael hole, but definitely I would stand that's

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:03

how it's done. Okay, here we go. Mike is really doing well. Okay. afrikan memory lane. Oh, so no, I'm not ready crapper, lane yet. But when you said that, like you it was just a known thing that your mom was into apricots like that, that made me think of like when I was little like were there there foods that I associated with my parents, and I know that both my parents hated beets and still do okay, and that my dad had like a whole array of dad foods, like kimchi, and like pickled fish and smoked fish and stuff. Yep. can filter fish like such? Boomer dads and weird fish? Like, I don't mean that in a derogatory? No, no, no, it's just a match made in heaven. That's that's what their generation is known for, mainly. And that I'm trying to think like, what is the thing that like my mom really liked. And I know both. And they would go out to this, this Greek restaurant, and I don't remember, like any particular dish that they were into, but they loved Greek food. And I kind of got the idea that this was like a thing that that wasn't for kids, which probably the children of Greece would disagree. Yeah.

Molly 7:07

I love the idea that Greek food is not for kids. It was it was just like, it's like, you'll find out about it when you're older.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:13

Exactly. It was an inference that I made just because like it was the restaurant they like to go to on date night, and obviously I wasn't invited.

Molly 7:19

Did they have date night Richard and Judy?

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:22

I don't know. I mean, certainly, I'm sure they would say not often enough since they had three kids. I'm gonna say based on my hazy memories once every two months.

Molly 7:32

Okay. Wow, that's tough

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:34

with three kids. But I could be I could be off by an order of magnitude. Judy, let it let us know. Let us know how often you should go to the Alexis. Is that the name of the Greek restaurant? That's what I remember. Yeah. Okay. All right. Go on. Okay, apricots, memories. I ate a lot of dried apricots. As a kid. I remember like the taste, and especially the texture of those dried apricots really well, like that was like a really standard snack.

Molly 7:58

And the texture is so memorable. And

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:00

I feel like the 80s when I was thinking about this were real dried fruit decades.

Molly 8:04

I think you're right. So something that I something that I remember distinctly like learning about Brandon, ex spouse of the show, Brandon was that he despised dried fruit and it was like, there was so much like snacking on dried fruit when he was a kid. Like his parents were like, well, his parents were also sort of recovering hippies slash like, quote health food not

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:31


Molly 8:32

So there was like a lot of dried fruit being forced upon him at any given time. And and he was a child of the 80s. So yes,

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:40

yeah, that makes sense. Like I think the like the array of dried fruit that's available has kind of has kind of diversified since we were kids, I think because like raisins, craisins dried pineapple and mango. I feel like we're really popular now. And really good. Like when I was taking a Japanese class all summer at U dub a few years ago. Every day for snack I would bring a peanut butter power bar and some Trader Joe's dried pineapple.

Molly 9:04

Oh yes, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:04

remember good

Molly 9:05

I remember learning about dried pineapple from you.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:08

Oh wow. Thanks. Yeah, yeah, it was an idea that I came up with I had a pineapple it dried out. And when baby of the show December teenager the show December was a baby. We tried to feed them a pureed apricots from the farmers market as a first food and like didn't really take no bueno. I mean, they didn't like you have any reaction one way or another other than like, why are we doing this?

Molly 9:31

I remember as I've discussed on the show before I remember seeing you Laurie and then baby if the show December in like a Baby Bjorn at the university farm. You're very intimidated. I was very intimidated, but I you know, that would probably would have been around the time that you were purchasing an apricot for then baby of the show. Right? I might have been there. I might have been there. Yeah. Okay. Okay. So let's talk about like

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:56

what these things are. Okay. Well, you did the research or you tell me I have no idea.

Molly 10:00

Okay, so, so apricots are a species of the genus prunus genus pirnas. It's

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:07

really fun to say right,

Molly 10:08

which is the same genus as other stone fruits.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:11

I mean plums for sure.

Unknown Speaker 10:12


Matthew Amster-Burton 10:13

there we go peaches nectarines,

Molly 10:15

the most commonly cultivated apricots species is prunus our mannai ca How do you think you say that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:24

I like armeniaca are it sounds like a

Molly 10:28

armeniaca No,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:30

that's not right. armeniaca armeniaca that may be more Minaya cuz it's so man.

Molly 10:37

It's so metal. Enter sand man.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:41

Carrying in Africa, didn't you?

Molly 10:43

Yes. Okay. Anyway, so this you know, this is the most cultivated apricot species exit

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:49

light enter fruit

Molly 10:52

zactly. And it's been grown in Armenia, hence the name. Yeah. Since ancient times, according to Wikipedia, in fact, it's been cultivated there for so long that for a long time, it was thought to have original are so bored with it. People are like, we are over this stuff. Like, give it a new name. We don't want to be associated with it anymore.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:11


Molly 11:12

But it was, it was long,

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:14

they've changed the name to produce Metallica

Molly 11:16

was long thought to have originated in Armenia. But genetic studies have shown that it originally grew in China and Central Asia, and that was where it was domesticated. And then it spread out from there.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:32

Oh, okay. Interesting. Yeah. I have a question when someone says ancient times, what do you picture I have no idea like an image at a time period.

Molly 11:39

That's why I put a question mark next to it. Okay. I was like, thanks for the precision Wikipedia. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:44

shouldn't time I think when I hear ancient times, I think of like a person in a Togo, which is very Eurocentric. I know. But yeah, we're like Genghis Khan, which I realized is a different

Molly 11:56

different time period. Wait, was Ganga is Khan before or after people in togas?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:02

I think after what do you think? The I know there's no way to find out.

Molly 12:07

Is Khan was was Genghis Khan. Like in the hundreds?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:11

Like Like, like

Molly 12:14

like around like BCE?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:17

That's what I was thinking. Yeah, his I'm basing this on the Copic BC. But also people still wear togas now, like, like whenever I go to toga parties, right, which I go to frequently.

Molly 12:30

Okay, well, anyway, I want to keep talking about prunus. Metallica, okay, you're about to interrupt?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:37

Well, I just wonder, you know how like, like, when you discover or like, did you discover a species or something, you get to name it.

Molly 12:45

Wait, is that always that's not how it goes?

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:47

I think so. I mean, then later, like some other some other taxonomist will come along and say, Oh, no, someone else discovered that first.

Molly 12:54

Not from Armenia.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:55

But But like, I wonder if there is something that has that this specific name Metallica, just because the person wasn't Metallica fan? Oh, I hope so. It seems like there probably is probably an insect because there are so many species of insects.

Molly 13:09

Okay, cool. We'll find out later. Okay. Let everybody know.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:12

All right. I won't interrupt.

Molly 13:13

So it was domesticated in China and Central Asia and then spread from there. So to you know, to West Asia, including Armenia, Europe and North Africa and then east to Japan. So yeah. Anyway, there are lots of other species that are also widely cultivated The Manchurian apricots, the Japanese apricots, Iberian Hong ping

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:33

and Puma boshi is is like a little Africa.

Molly 13:37

I believe. So yeah, yeah. One more thing about Armenia before we move on, apricots are the national fruit of Armenia. Okay, but Turkey is the largest producer of apricots. All right, this all led me to thinking about what might be the national fruit of the US.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:51

Do you want me to? Yes, I don't know.

Molly 13:54

Didn't you already see it on the agenda? No,

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:56

I turned it over just in case you put it on there. I'm gonna guess that the national fruit of the US I want to say apples but I think that's just because we're from Washington. And and that's where and we grow the apples but

Molly 14:09

there's also the phrase American as apple pie.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:11

That's true. Okay, pie. That's my vote. Okay. Okay, okay. I'm gonna say a hostess cherry hand pie is the National

Unknown Speaker 14:19


Matthew Amster-Burton 14:21

and also a sex act that that Generation X is really

Molly 14:27

now the national fruit of the US is the blueberry interesting,

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:32

I feel like like the producers organizations of other fruits like that there. There must have been some sort of real like, like, you know, smoke filled room drag out. Legislative battle over this

Molly 14:43

probably right. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Anyway, so

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:48

we shall hear about on on I don't have radio lab.

Molly 14:50

Yeah. Okay. Anyway, so apricots or drupes. Can you once again, remind me of what that means? It doesn't. It's

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:57

like it's got a like a seed. It's got a it's got to seem so it's so it's from like to like to ovaries fuse together probably to carpels I don't remember the difference and it's got a large it's got a large seed in a protective hard protective coat and then the flesh is clinging to it. That's a Drew. Okay, it looks a lot Wait, you just you just rip that apricots into in like, the way that like a strong like I'd like a strong man would rip a phone book in half.

Molly 15:30


Matthew Amster-Burton 15:31

like an old time. Yeah.

Molly 15:32

This is how I think of Tony Negroni doing the apricots here. Let me see if I can get this one to do it. Can

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:38

we can I do one? Yeah, here. Well, sorry. No, no, it's okay. I need I need you to start it for me. Oh, this is so satisfying.

Molly 15:44

It's so satisfying. I start eating it was short. So these are the ones from I brought some from the farmers market. This is from Collins family orchard. These are just from PCC. How is it?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:57

Is it it doesn't have a lot of flavor. Okay, let's see.

Molly 16:01

You're right. This one is more on the sweet end of things, but I'm enjoying it. Okay, Matthew now like the Tang Enos of the skin. Okay, try this other one. Hmm, this one has more.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:12

That's better acidity. Oh, I

Molly 16:13

like that

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:14

way better, huh. I think the texture of the first one is a little better. This one has some as a little string Enos to it, but it's worth it.

Molly 16:21

Oh, I love that. Okay. Anyway, so these kind of look like small peaches. They're even a little fuzzy. So, and one

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:27

of them has like a peachy blush, which I kind of didn't know you would get in Africa.

Molly 16:30

Well, here's the thing. So they're usually like, they're kind of yellow to orange in color. And they're often reddish on the side most exposed to the sun. Okay, okay. So the surface usually feels velvety with these short hairs. The flesh is much you

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:45

like rub them with some Coppertone sunscreen. Yeah, yeah. Banana Boat

Molly 16:49

and then they wouldn't get the the reddish. Do you think the flesh is usually firm and not as juicy as other stone fruits like I don't. I don't really think about eating an apricots over the sink. Right? You know?

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:01

Yeah, we've we did a peach episode, right? Because like the way I eat a peach is disgusting. No one should have to see it. Except you. Oh, okay. Danny, did you recall this from the peach episode? No. Wait, no. The way to grapefruit is worse. I remember specifically when we did the grapefruit episode, you were really upset. By the way. I was like slurping at the grapefruit, would it? What did you do? What did you do? I want to say like I sort of like bite into it and then try and suck the juice out like a vampire but in a in a very Slurpee way. Extra Slurpee vampire

Molly 17:37

there's another pleasantly tart one. Anyway, the taste runs from from tart to sweet. And each fruit contains a single seed here, which kind of looks like an all men right? same same genus, right.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:49

Same Yeah.

Molly 17:51

And it's got a single seed in there, which is encased in this hard shell. And have you ever extracted the kernel or the seed

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:59

from an apricot? No, but like, I know what they use to make to make like Amma Reto locura or something. Or am righto cookies maybe it's like, like apricot seeds.

Molly 18:10

I'm not sure. I don't know.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:12

I feel like they're supposed to be almond flavored, but that would be too expensive. So they use like the like,

Molly 18:16

do you have like a little bit of apricots that you need to get rid of in your hand? Yeah. Okay, why don't you just get rid of it, Matthew. All right, we're gonna talk more about these apricots, kernels or seeds here in a minute,

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:29

but Okay, so I good teaser.

Molly 18:32

You and I have both read john McAfee's book oranges. Right, that classic. So that was the first that was the first encounter I ever had with the idea that that like fruits are frequently grown by grafting

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:44

Yes. And I still don't totally understand that. I

Molly 18:47

don't I don't really either. Although aren't most or aren't most citrus fruits grown on like sour orange root stock or something like that, or

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:55

I don't I haven't read it in a long time. I can't believe you if you remember it that way. It's probably right.

Molly 19:01

Okay. Well apricots cultivars are usually grown on a plum or a peach root stock.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:07

So here's my question about this process and you may or may not know the answer and this is a serious question. Where do you get the roots to do that? Do you have to like grow? Do you have to like start by growing a whatever you said

Unknown Speaker 19:19


Matthew Amster-Burton 19:21

love our peach and then like, kind of saw it off and and graft your apricots onto it. I mean, I'm guessing that sounds so complicated. It does. I mean, you develop this people figure this out. Did you figure it out? I discovered dried pineapple That was easy.

Molly 19:39

To get back to you with the full story of how I discovered raft grafting.

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:44

Did you try it first with humans? And that didn't work you

Molly 19:47

did? No. I did learn while researching apricots. I learned that the part that you graft on like in this case the apricots like branch or shoot you

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:56

just did a motion like you were putting on like a long glove.

Molly 19:59

Yes. The part that you like the part that the shoot, or the branch that you're grafting on to the root stock is called the cyan.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:07

Oh, I've heard that before. It's such a cool word

Molly 20:09

the iOS Yeah. So anyway, apparently the cyan is what like will contribute like the flavor and type of fruit, right? This makes sense. You're grafting apricots onto root stock, but the root stock I think will I'm trying to remember exactly the root stock determines like

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:29

the like whether the plant has a rude bad attitude

Molly 20:37

determines like, where the plant grows, like the shape the plant grows, like all that kind of stuff, but it the root stock doesn't determine the like the flavor or type of fruit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:48

So why do they graph the apricots like I know, I know like European wine grapes are usually like grafted on to American rootstocks because because like otherwise they get destroyed by pasts.

Molly 20:59

Well, I know that apricots are frequently like plagued by pests

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:04

Yeah, very frequent frequently

Molly 21:07

biblical fruit

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:09

probably is right probably I mean given given like where it was and yeah, I period

Molly 21:15

totally well, and still today, if you look at where apricots are primarily produced both fresh apricots and like the production of dried apricots, it's totally like Fertile Crescent situation.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:26

Fertile Crescent situation over here.

Molly 21:29

Okay, but some of the most popular apricots cultivars in the US are Blenheim, which you might have heard.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:35

Is it Blenheim or blend them

Molly 21:36

whatever? I don't care. When actually Moorpark like Wenatchee

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:41

Washington. I'm not sure I assume so.

Molly 21:43

Tilton and perfection and blend them or Blenheim is the one I have mostly heard of, but it's kind of rare to find it at least here in the Pacific Northwest

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:53

or Blam. Blenheim. Abra rap are they frequently dried? I feel like I've seen maybe

Molly 22:02

so Trader Joe's used to carry dried blend em. apricots. Initially, I think they actually had the cultivar name on there. Yeah. And then they began just calling them like California slab apricots. Do you remember that?

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:15

Yeah, that's pretty cool name too.

Molly 22:17

They were dried like as though the two halves had been separated and dried separately to remember that instead of being like one whole fruit anyway, Trader Joe's, at least in our area no longer carries those and it has been a big bummer for me for years

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:32

so mad at Trader Joe's for discontinuing the granny smith apple juice in like 1998 Okay.

Molly 22:44

It's time for Mr. Etymology. Do we have a segment song for this Ay, ay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:51


Unknown Speaker 22:53


Matthew Amster-Burton 22:54

Uh, we're gonna sing the song. Oh, okay. You go ahead. You're

Molly 22:57

the you're the train singer here.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:00

I'm not the trained musical improviser, though on words, words words.

Molly 23:14

So the word apricots first appeared in English in the 16th century, as Abra cock

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:21

I knew like like an old timey speech like like Middle English I've know I've heard them called apricots which is really funny.

Molly 23:27

It is. This came from the middle French obey aapko Okay, or later Abilene Eco, which is what is the French word today for apricots and from the Spanish body cook and Catalan alphabetical. Okay, in turn from Arabic. I'll bar Kook, Okay, that makes sense means the plums and from the Byzantine Greek better kochia or apricots tree which is derived from the late Greek.

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:59

Go for it. You're the one has been to Greece

Molly 24:02

for and I put I cook Qian or Africa, which comes from the Latin persica pray kochia

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:11

precocious, precocious fruit

Molly 24:14

really ripening is what clay Coco's okay cup early ripening This

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:19

is so this is one of the best is one of my favorite Mr. Etymology segments. So follow

Molly 24:24

the ice copy that straight and we can be

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:26

now that I can see where where there's like a purse a, you know, persica in, in the a word apricots. It's really cool, right? Like I thought they seemed unrelated and now I can see the resemblance. I have a question before we get to the map.

Molly 24:42

Okay, okay, cuz Yeah, then we have a map of the etymology.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:46

So sometimes I have learned I listened to a linguistics podcast called lexicon Valley, of course. And one thing I've learned is that sometimes in English and presumably in other languages, a word will change because it's too similar to a word that has become risque or taboo. And the classic example is that a rooster used to be called a roost caulk. And rooster is a very new word that was popularized purely because people didn't want to go around saying caulk anymore. Oh, and I wonder if the same went through the same thing. And they're like, oh, like, like, it's unseemly for our women and children to be talking about apricots. Let's, let's borrow from the French and call the apricots. Yes, right. Yes, I could totally see this being a real thing.

Molly 25:34

Okay, I want to start listening to this podcast.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:36

It's a pretty fun podcast. Okay. What's it called? Again? lexicon Valley.

Molly 25:40

Okay, terrific. Okay, so while I was on Wikipedia, I found a map of the etymology of the word apricots. And this really helps illuminate what we just talked about. So pay kochia, which began in comes from Latin, then moved to Greece and became CoQ Qian, which became bedded kochia. In Byzantine Greek if

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:03

you like, we're doing the same thing we just did the least doing.

Molly 26:06

Okay, do we go? Here we go. Then we're going to the Middle East, where we're getting the word in Arabic, Alberta Kook. Then we go over to Western North Africa.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:17

Mm hmm.

Molly 26:18

Hold on. Where are we now? Oh, oh, no. No, no. What now we're going to go back up into Spain. We're going back up into there's no word here in North Africa. I wonder if it was about a kook all along here. Okay. Is it Morocco over there? Or is that further south, you should not get into this kind of conversation on the podcast because then everyone will see the holes in our geography knowledge

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:43

the other day. So one of my co workers lives in South Africa and I keep like assuming her timezone incorrectly. And I realized it was because I had the idea in my head that South Africa was near Australia. It's gnarly.

Molly 26:58

Yes. So hold on is her timezone In fact, more like the same timezone as like parts of western Europe or Eastern Europe? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:06

I think it's like, like, in one or two hours ahead of England.

Molly 27:10

Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, got it. Anyway. So it's just this map is really cool. Maybe we can find a way to well, you can go to the Wikipedia page for Africa and you can see this map but it's really cool. You see how it makes this clockwise movement from you know, from ancient Rome, down into the Middle East and up into the English apricots that we know today

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:35

of all of these words. Do you think the Spanish ones pronounce our body coke a or alphabet of body coke? I don't know either way that's my favorite

Molly 27:44

I think you're probably right with with your your guests on that one. The first one out buddy cocaine like yeah, like 4k? Yeah, I wind up turning everything into French slash fake Italian.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:55

I say everything. Everything in a language other than English in a Japanese accent.

Molly 28:00

Perfect. Hold on. Yeah, we cannot stop. We cannot move on from talking about the etymology of the word apricot without giving a shout out to the movie. Call me by your name. Okay. In which Michael Stuhlbarg and armie hammer discuss the etymology of the word apricots.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:18

That's that's the movie where little NAS X has sex with the devil. Right?

Molly 28:22

That's exactly right. Yes. Anyway, Matthew, have you seen call my name?

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:26

I saw one scene that you told me to watch because it was about like a dad being a good dad.

Molly 28:31

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I cried a lot during that one. Um, I I told my therapist knows I really loved that movie. Sure. And he watched it and he told me he couldn't finish it. He thought it was too boring. And I was like, anyway, I love that movie so much even though armie hammer is real trash fire of a damaging human being. Anyway, okay. Do you like fresh apricots Matthew now that you've been eating them You still don't know

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:00

give him like a like a for 4.5

Molly 29:03

Okay, but Okay, fine. I mean, they can be they can be mealy and bland even this one that you're eating that's kind of bland is not as bad as they can be though they can be really bland.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:15

So this is your argument for why is it like Afrikaans that there are even worse Africans out there?

Molly 29:20

I'm just saying I've brought you some pretty nice specimens today.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:23

I yeah. Okay. No, I did like I you know, I ate all of the the tart one and I did enjoy it. Am I gonna like make it a point to procure more apricots? No. Okay. Well,

Molly 29:33

I agree. I really like the ones that are nicely acidic and interesting enough. I kind of think it's maybe the smaller ones that I like these. The ones that we didn't like as much are these bigger ones. I'm not sure what variety they are what cultivars are but these smaller ones that I bought at PCC, which is a supermarket here in Seattle. These are really nice and they're on the smaller side. They're quite, they're firm. They're more firm than you would think. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:00

I like smaller or larger apricots, personally.

Molly 30:03

Do you like dried apricots?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:05

Yes, I do. I would, I would definitely like I don't know when the last time I had a dried apricot was probably a couple years ago but based on my experience here I would choose a dried apricots over a fresh apricots, just because the flavor is intensified and I like that kind of leathery texture. I satisfied,

Molly 30:21

like biting into a whole dried apricots, like the type that you usually get is so satisfying. And

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:27

I feel like if you go to Trader Joe's are probably to to like a natural food store. They're gonna have like like Salford ones and unsulphured ones Is that right? Yeah, like a both.

Molly 30:38

So my feeling about the unsulphured ones which so that sulfur isation helps preserve the color. And for me, it also helps preserve the flavor. I mean, you usually hear of it as preserving the color, but I think it preserves the flavor too.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:52

And I feel like the silver ones are more like plump. They are

Molly 30:56

they're more plump. They're usually the ones that are beautiful shade of orange. The unsulphured ones are kind of almost like brown. Yeah. And I find them to be not nearly as tasty.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:07

Okay, maybe maybe we'll follow this up with a dried apricots. I think someone asked us to do like a dried fruit episode, which I don't know if we've done me we could just like assemble like the dried fruits of our youth. I think that sounds great because we do prunes, dried

Molly 31:19

apricots are truly the dried fruit of my youth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:22

Yeah, me too. Like the the dried fruit of my adult adulthood is prints.

Molly 31:28

And anyway, I especially love those, like dried Blenheim apricots, which of course, as I mentioned, Trader Joe's has stopped carrying them but my spouse and I drove down to California this spring to see some family once we were vaccinated, and I saw some dried blend them or Blenheim apricots in a grocery store there and brought them home and they were gone so fast. Okay, we're so good.

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:55

I can't believe you didn't bring any

Molly 31:57

sorry. That's okay. Okay, when you do buy fresh apricots, or maybe this is just a question for me.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:02

It's me, I think maybe a question for you because I think probably bought a fresh apricots was, like 17 years ago,

Molly 32:08

Molly, when you buy fresh apricots. Do you just eat them? Or do you use them in baking or cooking?

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:14

That's a great question, Molly.

Molly 32:15

I'm so glad you asked Molly. So one major thing I do and I try to do this every summer is I make apricot jam, which I think is is maybe number two in my hierarchy of homemade jams.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:29

Okay, do you want me to guess what number one is? Yeah, go ahead. raspberry.

Molly 32:33

You're correct. Yes.

Well, raspberry jam is just my all around favorite.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:37

I think. I think probably raspberry is my all around favorite too. Could be strawberry. Yeah. But like I think strawberry jam is more likely to be cloying.

Molly 32:47

Yes, I made some strawberry jam this year. That's fine. It's a little coin. Yeah, it's not great. Anyway, okay. So I make jam from apricots. And I use like a very simple jam method that I learned from a friend years ago. So like one kilo of fruit to half a kilo or a little less of sugar. Okay, so this was a kilo of apricots that I did here. Wow. With 400 No, no, no, no, I got four jars of jam. Okay. So I got four.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:21

If someone here who knew anything about canning, like was here to like, see me assume that there was a kilo of apricots in this small jar, they would have laughed at me.

Molly 33:30

Yeah, this is an eight ounce jar, and I got four, eight ounce jars of apricots. Okay, out of a kilo of apricots, and I did 400 grams of sugar. And the juice of half a lemon. Okay, a little bit of salt. And then but here's the kicker. A couple of years ago, semi nosrat wrote in The New York Times about making apricot jam. That includes the kernels right in the French word is no I Oh, and she uses that all that. It's like no, I ll ot. No. And oh, YAUX

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:06

Wow, I was watching.

Molly 34:09

Anyway, here's the thing. So the kernels are the seeds. They contain amygdalin which once inside the human body converts to cyanide. I did read from like the Food Safety Administration of Ireland or something that you can eat. You can eat a whole Africa kernel every day perfectly safely.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:26

Okay, so if you have pica,

Molly 34:28

yeah, anyway, although apparently there's a lot of junk science going around about the idea of like, Africa kernels curing cancer. So anyway, please, please, please use common sense, anyway.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:41

But you mean apparently if you eat enough of them, they'll cure anything. Yeah, cuz you'll be dead right?

Molly 34:46

Anyway, you can reduce the amount of amygdalin slash cyanide forming compounds in your africac kernels by heating them. Alright, so I hate what I do is I take the current All, I put the Colonel's like in between two dish towels and then whack them with a hammer to get to the seed and to get to the seed inside and it makes the most satisfying flack when you get through the hard outer shell. It's so satisfying. So then I take out all the kernels and I just toast them at 300 degrees in the oven or toaster oven for like 10 minutes. All right,

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:22

then I put them in a smell like,

Molly 35:24

you know, this year when I did it, they didn't give off much of an aroma, but usually usually they smell like almonds. And it's great. And then I put them in a little cheese cloth bag and put them in the apricot jam while it's simmering. And then you extract the bag and go about Yeah, business once the jam is done. So anyway, should we taste this jam? Yeah, I haven't tasted it yet.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:46

Do we want me to like toasted English muffin or something or just like taste it right out of it. Just

Molly 35:50

taste it right as a thing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:52

Fabrica. 2021.

Molly 35:55

Okay, let's see how this is. Hang on.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:58

You tasted see see how much cyanide it has?

Molly 36:00

Oh my god. I think that is so delicious.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:02

Huh? Oh, that's so good. See, that's what an apricots is trying to be I think.

Molly 36:07

Yes. Anyway, I don't think you really get a lot from putting the kernel in there. But I do think it gives like an extra floral thing that wouldn't be

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:15

there. Yeah, it was you get the satisfaction of getting like smack smack open some kernels. Yeah.

Molly 36:20

And it's not that difficult. So anyway, if you want to try this, you can look up semi nosrat recipe for apricot jam with the new i o but

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:29

we linked to it.

Molly 36:30

Oh, God, we can. Yeah. And the New York Times website. Also, I wrote on my blog a million years ago about sort of my basic jam formula. I think I wrote it up as Italian plum jam, but you can sub in apricots. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:42

my basic jam formula is just kind of like go back and forth between the one foot one chord in the four chord, and then you can go over that.

Unknown Speaker 36:49


Molly 36:50

wait a minute, I just want to reiterate that this was one kilo of apricots to 400 grams of sugar. So

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:55

a little less than I might do for some other fruit. Okay, no, and I think I think the the tartness is perfect. This It's so good. I'd like to me is like 100 times better than any of the fresh apricots.

Molly 37:07

I'm so glad. Okay, anyway, I also love to bake with apricots because I think anything that you can do with apricots that will concentrate the flavor Yeah, is the way to the way to go.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:18

You make like a fruit tart with like, halved apricots,

Molly 37:21

there's a recipe in the Zuni cafe cookbook for like a simple simple apricot tart where basically you make a tart shell, you take quarter two apricots that you have tossed with a small amount of sugar, and more salt than you would think. Okay, and you bake it and it is so simple. I mean, that is literally all it is. And it is so good. I think sounds great about it like a million years ago on the old blog. Also, I love to take like any really great simple cake recipe. Like you know, buttermilk cake or an almond cake would be great with some have apricots nestled in the top. Yeah, maybe just sprinkle them lightly with sugar. Oh, love that.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:01

We I mean, I don't want to toot our own horns here. But like we're pretty influential in the world of food. I think we were we were called something by the New York Times like up we were called a podcast, I think. Yeah, um, and do you think we could get people to stop saying apricots and start saying apricots again? Just everybody.

Molly 38:20

Let's see if we can do it for the rest of the episode. All right,

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:22

let's try it.

Molly 38:23

So let's talk about Abra Cox and culture. All right. So Matthew, I'm going to ask you to pronounce this Turkish idiom boondocked ec som Casey we absolutely disclaim any pronunciation problems. Anyway, apparently, according to Wikipedia, what this means is the only thing better than this is an African in Damascus, which is the Turkish way of saying it doesn't get any better than this. I like it. Is that great? Yes. Okay, I don't I feel like Wikipedia is totally pulling my leg on this one. That's coming up. All right. Okay. And I want to hear from listeners. Whether or not this is true. According to Wikipedia, in the US Marines, it is considered exceptionally bad luck to eat or possess apricots, especially near tanks.

Matthew Amster-Burton 39:08

Does anybody know assuming this is even true? That is that it really is bad luck. Did you find any documentation of like where the superstition might have originated? No, but apparently it's been documented since at least the Vietnam War and is often cited as originating in World War Two though I'm not sure if the exact reason even naming them is considered unlucky. So they're referred to as cots or a fruit, like how Macbeth is the Scottish play I was talking with, with teenager the show December the other day, who's who's a theater kid. And I said, if you if you someone was going to on their way to their theater to the theater to play Macbeth, and you said to them, Hey, good luck. Macbeth. Would that be like doubly cursed or would they cancel each other out? Wait, I didn't know this about Mike that. Oh, you're not supposed to say Macbeth. The theater you're supposed to save the Scottish play because it's bad luck.

Molly 40:03

It's just like how you always say Break a leg. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Cool. Oh wow, this is r three r r three v three v.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:11

Okay, new new segment three v thriving with trivia. So wait, how often does this come up in the Marines?

Molly 40:22

Are they like eating tons of a fruit?

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:24

Yeah, like, really?

Molly 40:27

I don't know. I want to hear from specially near tanks. I want to hear from all of our listeners who are US Marine. Okay. Yeah, Marines. Okay. Anyway, that's that's all I've got on apricots.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:38

What do you got on apricots? Oh, sorry,

Molly 40:40

I forgot.

Matthew Amster-Burton 40:41

Should we move on to segments? Yeah, yeah, let's move on to segments. All right, we've got spelled mail

Unknown Speaker 40:45


Matthew Amster-Burton 40:54

This one is from listener Colton, who asks, I would be interested in hearing from both of you on your leftover pie preferences. My spouse and I don't approach leftover pie the same if it was originally warm. She likes the leftovers to be warmed in the microwave, preferably Allah mode and who can blame her? I'm 100% fine with that. But it's like I've physically wounded her when she sees me eat a room temperature slice of pie. Here's the thing. I don't eat tepid pie out of pure laziness. I eat leftover pie because I've lied to myself that is a perfectly good meal on par with a muffin and microwaving it and adding ice cream pushes that lie beyond credibility. Also pie that is sat out for a day or two has a different mouthfeel that I find satisfying but the top crust a bit dry and crispy and the bottom deli and chewy and I don't want to homogenize that via nuclear fission or whatever that's how am I growing I just have no idea who is in what camp with this topic and I'd like to hear your preferences listener Colton.

Molly 41:45

Oh listener Colton. Well, Matthew I just want to say that I love that our podcast is a safe place where people can come talk about their pi preferences.

Matthew Amster-Burton 41:54

Yes. And I want to hear from listener Colden spouse please write into the show contact at spilled milk podcast calm let's let's fanned the flames of this dispute.

Molly 42:01

Let's do Okay, so here's my here's my feeling. I think we discussed this on the cobbler episode. I don't really want my fruit desserts warm. I don't want them warm. And I don't know if this is related to the fact that I often like eating fruit cold, which we discussed on a long ago episode and our listeners set themselves on fire afterward.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:24

That's true.

Molly 42:25

Do you remember that? Yes, you and I both talked about really liking to eat.

Matthew Amster-Burton 42:30

We had like gotten into a tank holding a sack of apricots.

Molly 42:35

Exactly. Anyway, so here's my thing. I don't really want any of my fruit desserts warmed I mean like I'll eat it when it's still like tepid or you know like barely warm out of the oven but I don't I'm not going to rewarm it for sure because in addition to the texture that you're talking about the you know the daled texture I also like the kind of like fudgy gloopy texture of the room temperature fruit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:03

So you're on you're on listener Colton, sigh listener Colton. I'm

Molly 43:06

there for you. Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:07

so for me like if we're talking about pie, I agree with you and listener cold and I would rather have a room temperature piece of pie than a reheated piece of pie.

Molly 43:17

What would you do if you had stored the pie in the

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:20

refrigerator? I was about to get to as you know recently I've been on a slump kick.

Molly 43:26

Yes. Weren't you gonna give us a slump date? I mean a slump update?

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:30

Yes. What was the updates posted?

Molly 43:32

How is it when it's like daily

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:34

Yes, that this constitutes the slump date right now

Molly 43:38

because the recipe hold on to it to bring readers up to speed the

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:41

recipe said readers that Thanks for reading our show

Molly 43:44

slump like doesn't keep well and doesn't reheat well and needs to be right out in the pot.

Matthew Amster-Burton 43:50

Right so I do think well first of all right out of the pot it's too hot to eat. You know what cool for a few minutes Yeah, but and I did like the hot slump but I didn't want to store it at room temperature it was you know, it's very liquidy and like I was afraid it would it would go off in some way right? So I put the leftover slump in the fridge and the next day and microwave did kind of up to room temperature like not not to have too hot but I did I did introduce some nuclear fission to the equation okay and it reheated great. Wow, I

Molly 44:21

wonder what the deal is. Yeah. I'm so glad for this slump date because I've been wanting to make more slump

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:27

Yeah, no, it was I really liked it. I don't think anyone else in the family really liked it the way I did but I'm gonna slump again.

Molly 44:33

Hold on, but you were starting to say something about cold pie.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:37

Oh, well do would you ever store a leftover pie in the fridge or like, I mean, you store a cooling pie on a Windows cell and then a bandit comes and takes it I know that I

Molly 44:46

just had this thought when I made cobbler recently. Yeah. Because usually I will store leftover cobbler in the fridge but I thought to myself, why not just leave it out? If this were a pie, I would leave it out.

Matthew Amster-Burton 44:58

Yeah, is there It feels It's a little different to me, but I don't know why. Me neither. Anyway Yeah, I think I agree with you. I don't want to hot for dessert I want to Strawberry Shortcake where the biscuit has just cooled. So yeah, but I like if if, if I went over to if I was hanging out with listener Colton spouse and they and they heat it up some pie and put a scoop of ice cream on it what I would I refuse? No, that sounds good. But it wouldn't be my first choice. Okay, all right.

Molly 45:29

Okay, well, listener Colton. I mean, it sounds like we are really on your side here.

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:33

Yeah. Will we any any grazie thing that a listener sends in? We agree with you. Um, let's test that.

Molly 45:40

Okay. I can't wait. Okay. Great.

Matthew Amster-Burton 45:44

Let's move on to now but wow.

Molly 45:54

So this week's now but wow, from me is a cookbook that came out. Let's see. When did this come out? Like in 2020? I

Matthew Amster-Burton 46:00

think so.

Molly 46:02

It is called in Bibi's kitchen. And it is by how Hassan with friend of the show. Julia tertian asked, yes. The subtitle I think says it all recipes and stories of grandmothers from the eight African countries that touch the Indian Ocean. That's I love the specificity of that right? Yeah. Anyway, how Hassan II was born in Somalia in the middle of a civil war. And I love the way that she has shaped this book. So BB in babies kitchen, baby means grandmother in Swahili. So this book, it's so delightful it kind of you know there's a little part of it that reminds me of so Julia tertians wife grace, Bonnie made a book called in the company of women interviewing and it's made up of interviews and beautiful photographs of women who have done amazing things creatively mostly. And this book has that same wonderful kind of interview format. Yeah, which I love so you get to know these grandmothers. It is gorgeous visually and also has what looks to be incredible recipes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:08

I in fact, on the way over here got a little bit distracted everything if you flipped past sounds like something I want to make,

Molly 47:14

right? There's a Somali flatbread in here that looks incredible. from Mozambique, there leafy greens and coconut sauce steak and Piri piri sandwiches ROM

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:25

with homemade berry soda. Oh my gosh, please. Anyway, so

Molly 47:28

this book is gorgeous. I'm so excited to have it in my hands. So that's in bibi's kitchen by Hawa Hassan with Julia tertian

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:37

All right, our producer is Abby Sir catella please rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts catch up with other people who listen to the show on Reddit and reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk. If if you got a question for us, you can send it in for spilled milk by emailing us at contact at spilled milk podcast.com What else do the people need to know

Molly 47:57

I think our listeners know everything now their

Matthew Amster-Burton 47:59

listeners now know everything about apricots life. And until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show

Molly 48:06

that's a real a fruit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:09

I'm Matthew Amster-Burton.

Molly 48:11

Molly weissenberg.

Matthew Amster-Burton 48:19

And then you whisper Mr add homology at the end. Oh, sorry.

Unknown Speaker 48:22

Let's do it again. Words, words, words. Etymology