Nature is so endlessly inventive. What do you image was the impetus for the fuzzy skin of the peach? Given her S.O.P., Mother Nature surely had a reason. Perhaps some long ago peach pest was put off by the velvet texture. At this point, who knows or cares? It won’t get in the way of our awe of the peach’s blushing pink gold beauty and sweet flesh.
The peach understands the value of eating locally and reveals its best flavors in its own neighborhoods. Accordingly, it pays no-never-mind to such labels as a stay at home fruit. Its pit, however, has traveled far, having originated in Northwestern China. One theory has it that the silk route traders left peach pits all along their trail. Alexander the Great discovered the peach in Persia and promptly exported it to the Mediterranean region, where it thrived. The Spanish then transported it to the New World for Native Americans to enthusiastically adopt and adapt it to two new continents. Finally, Northern European explorers in the Americas brought it back to England and France in the 17th C where, considered a luxury item, it was cultivated exclusively for the aristocracy.
No less than 23 states hold peach festivals, some as far north as South Dakota, west as California, south as Texas and east as Massachusetts. There are contests for the largest, the heaviest and the sweetest peach. As of September, 2016. Robert Hogue of Kelowna, British Columbia, holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the heaviest peach. This prizewinner was of the Autumnstar variety and weighed 1-pound and 12 ounces.
On our website you can find quite a number of peach recipes previously published, including: Peach White Wine Sangria, Vanilla-Cardamom Peach Pie and an Open-faced Peach Cake. Today’s recipe is a Peach Custard Tart with a Ginger-Snap Crust. Occasionally it may be permissible to skip the main course and go straight to dessert.