It’s peach season! Enjoy the season, the history of the fruit and the recipes for a juicy summer.
- Peaches originated in China and are mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th Century BC.
- The peach was brought to America by Spanish explorers
- In Queen Victoria’s day, no meal was complete without a fresh peach presented in a beautifully stitched cotton napkin
- Various American Indian tribes are credited with migrating the peach tree across the United States, planting seeds as they roved the country
- Thomas Jefferson had peach trees at Monticello, but US farmers did not begin commercial production until the 19th Century
- Today, peaches are the second largest commercial fruit crop in the US, second to the apple.
- Peaches contain good amounts of potassium, vitamins C and A
- Aid in the stimulation of digestion and add color to the complexion
Selection and Storage:
- Choose peaches that are firm to the touch, but will give a little with gentle pressure
- The fruits should be free of bruises and have a fragrant peach aroma
- A mature peach will have a well defined cleft
- Although peaches will continue to ripen after being picked, the sugar production ceases once picked
- Under ripe peaches can be ripened somewhat by placing them in a paper bag punched with holes at room temperature away from sunlight.
- Refrigeration will extend the peach’s life, but not more than a day. Peaches need humidity, so refrigerate in a plastic bag and use within a couple of days.
- Although the fuzzy skin is edible, it becomes tough when cooked. Remove the skin by marking an X at the end of the peach with a sharp knife. Blanch in boiling water for one minute and plunge immediately into cold water to stop the cooking process. The skin should peel right off.
- The stone will give off a bitter flavor. Be sure to remove it before canning or freezing peaches.
Paula’s Favorite Peach Recipes: