A Conversation about Organic Peaches
By Mark Mulcahy
“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.” ~ Alice Walker
You probably know by now, if you have read my blogs here on the Melissa’s site, or listened to my radio show An Organic Conversation
I am a produce lover who gets very excited at finding the perfect piece of fruit or vegetable to bite into when it is just right. Well now is the time for my favorite fruit – peaches! They are sunshine yellow-fleshed, chin-drippy globes of delicious summer succulence. Actually July peaches are my favorite fruit, especially those grown after the 4th
of July (yes, I think there is a difference in peach varieties depending on when they are grown). Try it out yourself. If you are going to do some peach sampling on your own, do so each week of the month. Ask about the varieties and make a mental note of the names; it will be worth remembering next season when the time comes around again. One thing to remember this time of year is to eat them a little firmer, as they have been on the tree longer – which gives them more flavor but a little less moisture, so they’ll get mealy if you let them get too soft. While you’re choosing, smell the peach. Is it perfume-y and sweet-scented? It should be! Inspect the peach’s surface. The skin shouldn’t be bruised in any way; it should have a soft, downy covering of white fuzz; and it should be streaked with both pink and yellow. For the sweetest and best-flavored peaches look for ones that have a pinkish orangey gold glow about them.
Once ripened (NOT BEFORE), peaches can be stored in the refrigerator unwashed for up to two weeks without a loss in flavor or texture. Chilling them before that will result in fruit that is mealy and flavorless.
Did you know peaches and nectarines are cousins? In fact, I’ve been told they're so closely related that occasionally either tree will bear the other fruit. Really, the difference between the two fruits comes down to peach fuzz; essentially nectarines don't have to shave.
So now’s their time, and Melissa’s has them. What are you waiting for?