Bitter apricot seeds, often associated with the core of the familiar apricot fruit, hold a distinct position in various global cuisines and traditional health practices. These seeds carry an intense, somewhat sharp flavor that is remarkably different from the sweet, juicy fruit it is encased within. Utilized in their raw form or processed into oil or powder, bitter apricot seeds are recognized for their bold taste and are often used to add complexity to dishes.
In the culinary world, bitter apricot seeds lend their unique character to an array of creations. They are used in specialties like Italian amaretti cookies and French pralines, introducing a subtly bitter twist to these sweet treats. The seeds are also employed in certain jams, liqueurs, and other food products that benefit from their unique flavor profile. Moreover, they can be found in a variety of Eastern European and Middle Eastern recipes, including sauces and spice mixtures, where they bring a certain depth and nuance of flavor.
Beyond their food applications, bitter apricot seeds have found their place in traditional health practices. Despite their controversial nature due to the presence of amygdalin, a compound that can release cyanide in the body when consumed in large amounts, they have been used in various traditional medicinal systems. Their use as a dietary supplement or in alternative therapies, however, should be approached with caution and under medical supervision. Bitter apricot seeds thus stand as a testament to the intricate link between food, culture, and well-being, exhibiting a fascinating interplay of culinary versatility and health implications.
Botanical Name: Semen Armeniacae Amarum
Also known as: Apricot kernels, Prunus armeniaca seeds, Apricot pits, Amygdalin seeds, Laetrile seeds, Vitamin B17 seeds