The State of Peaches [by Josh]

[For three weeks, Josh & Katy blogsit]

Although summer fruits are one of my favorite foods and I eat copious amounts of them each season, I’ve yet to develop an ability to recognize a truly good peach from the outside.

For example:

peach1

Which of these is better? They came from two different sources but they are equivalent in texture, smell and softness. Without a bite they are, to me, indistinguishable.

peach2

OK – now I know which is better. But do you? As we can clearly see, one is a white peach, the other yellow. Both were quite juicy, passing the mealy test admirably (they weren’t at all).

peach3

By this point I really didn’t want to finish one of these. It was nearly flavorless – no sweetness, a touch bitter. But still juicy – which is normally the problem with peaches.

peach4

Although the other peach was pretty good, it was by no means was it great. But I haven’t had a great peach in years — definitely not since I’ve been in Georgia. Now, you see this poses a bit of a problem, a little identity issue. Georgia is the Peach State. It’s the state fruit, it’s on the quarter, and sometimes my grandfather calls Katy a Georgia peach. Yet the sweetest fruit in the state is the Vidalia onion.

The problem: If Georgia is not the Peach State, then what is? Consistently, the best peaches I’ve had here come from South Carolina, the Palmetto State.

The solution: So let’s call SC the Peach State. It’s only fair, they’ve earned it. But this leaves a vacuum in Georiga. The state does have other nicknames — maybe one of those will work. My extensive research at netstate.com, the industry-recognized authority on questions about states, shows five alternatives:

The Empire State of the South

The Goober State

The Cracker State

The Buzzard State

Yankee-land of the South

Hmmm. On second thoughts, maybe food scientists could just give Georgia a better peach. Sorry, South Carolina, we’re going to have to take that nickname back.

Back to the real peaches – the white one was the good one.

–josh

9 comments

  1. I, of course, an prejudiced, (as a native Texan – please don’t hate me) but I think nothing can beat a Central Texas (around Stonewall) peach. I just bought a bushel and have a weekend planned of peach pies, peach muffins and homemade peach ice cream. Heaven!

  2. having grown up in california, and eaten tons (literally =) ) of fruit straight off the tree, i am amazed that the white one was better – would have guessed the yellow – whoda thunk it?

    yum!

  3. As another native Texan (7th generation no less), I will breach my codes of honor to say that of all places, Colorado has the best peaches. I found that out last year via Whole Foods and a frozen Tx peach crop. The July Gourmet has an article all about it. But Fredricksburg peaches are a REALLY close second. Really close.

  4. Yeah, I grew up in Austin and since leaving there I dream every night about Fredricksburg peaches. From the tables on the side of the road, warmed by the Texas sun…yummmmm. I’ve never found any nearly as good.

  5. Try the Lane Orchard peaches, from down around Macon. I, too, am a native Texan (although I’ve lived most of my life in Georgia and North Carolina) and while I’ve never had a Fredericksburg peach, I can say the August crop of O’Henry’s are the best I’ve ever had. The downside? Georgia uses more chemicals on their lauded crop than any other state~pretty sure this affects the taste!

  6. Having grown up in Fredericksburg, TX … I can agree with those above who said that the peaches from that area are the best (when the weather’s been right and all). I’ve got a bushel sitting in my kitchen right now waiting for me to start getting creative with. :D

  7. the best peaches come from the Yakima Valley. Hot days and cool desert nights. One of the best peach memories I have is of big Elbertas, big as softballs, somewhat green skins, because a true Elberta ripens from the inside out. Boy, did they taste good. Many of the new white peaches simply taste like sugar to me. I want a peach to be balanced tasting with a little acid.

  8. I’m another Texan and I have to say that Fredericksburg and Stonewall peaches can’t be beat. They are so juicy that the juice just runs down your arms when you eat them. They are so sweet they could pass for candy if they weren’t in a fruit body. The best way to tell a good peach? The smell. If they smell like a delicious peach, they are ripe. Here’s to hoping for good weather for Fredericksburg peaches this summer.

  9. Don’t listen to those people lauding the Central Texas peach! They’re big, fat liars. Don’t go out of your way to get Texas peaches, you’ll regret it!…Hey, get away from that curtain, there’s nothing interesting behind it…um…yes, those baskets say “Stonewall” on them….I’m…uh…disposing of them to protect the innocent peach buyer! Yeah, that’s it…

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