Peaches – summer’s ‘fuzz’ word
Posted by by Colin Lyons, produce buyer
Monday, August 6, 2012
We have officially entered into the dog days of summer - sweltering heat, weekend afternoons at the beach and the anticipation of local fairs are at the top of everyone’s minds and conversations. With the 4th of July behind us and the berry season coming off its peak, we can all look to one of the best fruits available all year: peaches!
There’s something about peaches that evokes a strange feeling of nostalgia in me that I can’t explain, and I don’t think I am alone. I have no “stand out” memory of eating fresh peaches as a child, no experience that I can remotely look at to explain this feeling. But every time I bite into a peach, I suddenly envision myself sitting on the back of a farm wagon eating a whole wooden box of fresh peaches, juice running down my hand, and grandma cleaning the light blue glass Ball jars for canning. Now, none of this ever happened, but there’s something strangely familiar about it.
Late summer offers us some of the best our country has to offer in the realm of peaches. I’d like to talk specifically about a few that you can find at our stores. Each differs slightly from the next to keep your taste buds interested and this guide will have your friends and family impressed with your knowledge of the delicious fruit.
Lori Anne Peaches
This is a Lunds and Byerly’s exclusive fruit coming to us from beautiful state of South Carolina. Grown by Chalmers and Lori Anne Carr, this peach is so perfect that Chalmers couldn’t think of a better name than that of his beloved wife. The quintessential southern peach, the Lori Anne, is handled by hand, packed in the field and air cooled for the perfect marriage between ripeness and flavor. Available for a very limited time.
Colorado peaches have developed an almost cult following here in the Twin Cities. These freestone peaches are grown in Palisade, Colorado at an elevation of 4,700 feet and are some of the best peaches in the world. Palisade is very mild with a unique terrain that's near perfect for peach growing conditions. The night winds travel through the Debeque Canyon, arriving in Palisade compressed and warmed. These winds reduce the likelihood of crop-killing spring frosts. If you’re into fall canning, this is your peach.
Also known as doughnut or Saturn peaches, flat peaches offer a fun eating experience. With a small pit right in the middle, just bite your way around the outside for an easy to handle, less messy, delicious treat. Great for kids!
White Flesh Peaches
These peaches are fun to put in the mix for something with a little less tang. In yellow peaches, the tangy flavor comes from the amount of natural acid that exists in the fruit. But these white peaches have very low acid and very high sugar content, creating an entirely different eating experience. This is also true for white nectarines!
So how do you know which peach to pick? Selecting the kind is your personal preference, but picking a good peach is easy. As is the case for most produce items, look for the heaviest and plumpest pieces, as they typically are the juiciest. Always keep them on your counter at room temperature until they yield slightly to pressure. At this point, dig in and don’t look back - you won’t be disappointed.