Life is a Peach!
Peaches are in season right now and are the perfect summer fruit! But what makes the peach so peachy?
Peach: Round juicy fruit with downy yellowish-red skin and a rough stone.
Peaches are from Chinese origin. They date back to the 10th century B.C. and are often found on illustrations from that time. The peach got its name around 300 B.C. The Greek philosopher Theophrastus believed the peach came from Persia and so named the fruit after that country. In the first century the fruit is mentioned by Romans who wrote that they imported the fruit from Persia.
There are many varieties of peach, some with the stone fixed to the pulp and some with a loose stone. The pulp varies in colour from white to yellow and certain types have red stains. The colour of the skin of a peach varies from green to dark-red. The most remarkable characteristic of the peach is its downy soft skin.
Some other characteristics of the peach:-
- Never plant a peach shrub or tree near an almond tree. As the peach is a brother of the almond the two sorts are easily crossed. The result is bitter nuts!
- Most peach stones have little holes in them or have a ribbed structure
- Peach trees or shrubs can easily be grown from a peach stone
- Peach stones are used to make the coal for filters
- If you buy peaches look for ones with a creamy to gold under colour that indicates ripeness. The amount of red on peaches depends on the variety, it is not always a sign of ripeness. Look for fruit that has a well-defined crease and a good fragrance. Unripe peaches have a green under colour and will never ripen.
- Peaches always have to be picked ripe. They do not ripen well after they have been picked.
- You can keep peaches for one to three days but you have to be very careful, one small bruise and it will go bad on that spot.
- Peaches taste best consumed "warm" from the tree.
The Healthy Peach
- Peaches are rich in Vitamin A and Potassium
- Peaches are good for your skin and can often add colour to your complexion
- They are a good source of dietary fibre and are 80% water, making them great as part of a weight loss diet
- Peaches have a small laxative effect and a powerful diuretic effect, and are therefore recommended to people suffering from rheumatism and gout
- It has been seen that consumption of peaches helps in the removal of worms from the intestinal tract
- Can help with conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, bladder and kidney stones and constipation
Uses of the peach
Apart from being a delicious fruit to eat straight from the tree, there are many other uses for this versatile little furry fruit:-
- Make peach jam
- Puree peaches to freeze them for winter use
- You can make a delicious chutney
- Make peach juice
- Put your peaches in a summer salad
- Peach ice cream is delicious and refreshing
- Peach muffins make a tasty sweet treat
Peaches, enjoy them all summer long!