Could you swoon in helpless rapture for... an apricot? You could if it were one of John Driver's "CandyCots." The Modesto, CA farmer traveled to the far reaches of Tajikistan to obtain stock to grow the world's greatest apricots back home.
Apparently, his heirloom CandyCots are amazingly sweet, and thoroughly different from today's grocery-store apricots, so much so that, according to more than one taster, the latter do not even deserve the same name. Contributors to hipster-foodie mag Lucky Peach as well as the New York Times have gone absolutely gaga over CandyCots.
In this article from the former magazine, the author embarks on a Proustian odyssey to taste the exotic apricots he associated with his first love, experienced while living in Budapest as a teenager. His gushing rediscovery of apricots at Driver's San Joaquin Valley farm may produce powerful urges in the reader to try one of these "radiant, glabrous fruits. Capsules of sunlight. Bursts of gold...."
It worked on Alan McClure. The owner and head chocolate maker at CoMo's award-winning, bean-to-bar Patric Chocolate had to try one. "They taste unlike any other apricot," he said. "They're so sweet, so floral, so complex – balanced is a good word, too."
As soon as McClure tasted the CandyCot, the wheels started spinning. He obtained a quantity of the exalted fruits (which are currently in-season), and had them "dried just enough so they would be shelf-stable, but not hard like fruit leather," he said. It's not hard to guess what he did with them then.
The Anya Apricot Bar, named after the varietal of apricot McClure chose to use, is a salty, milk chocolate bar formulated to pair well with the dried CandyCot pieces studded atop it. Patric made just 875 bars, available on their website beginning today, and hopefully at St. Louis-area retailers by this weekend.
More on which specific retailers those might be as we learn it; and in fact, if you see the Anya Apricot Bar by Patric anywhere in St. Louis, let us know in the comments section or send us an email or a Tweet or FORGODSAKE, JUST LET US KNOW! WE'VE GOT TO TRY THIS STUFF!!
Excuse us. Um, ok... back to work.
Updated 3:35 p, July 13: Alan McClure just informed Relish that the following will have the bars in their stores tomorrow, July 14: Straub’s (Webster Groves and CWE); Wine & Cheese Place (all locations); Sappington Farmers' Market.