All you need to know about peaches this National Peach Month
It’s National Peach Month this August which means there is no better time to eat, cook and learn more about this delicious fruit! From the fast facts to its nomadic history, we have all the juicy information laid out.
Peaches originally came from China where they were cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture. Then known as the favourite fruit of emperors, peaches were first mentioned in Chinese scriptures dating back to the 10th century!
From China, this delectable fruit spread to Persia where it became widely cultivated and called the “Persian apple” (translated Latin name). Eventually, the Persian apples were introduced to Romans and were eventually brought to Europe by Alexander the Great.
Spanish explorers are credited with bringing the peach to South America and then eventually to England and France where it became a popular, but a rare treat. During the reign of Queen Victoria, it was said that no meal was complete without a fresh peach served on a fancy cotton napkin.
Peaches are roses
Wait what? Yes, much to our surprise, peaches are part of the rose family —as well as plums, apricots, and almonds. Peaches can be round or shaped like doughnuts. They can also be with a pit instead of a hole and have yellow or white flesh and skin, and be either clingstone or freestone. It’s called clingstone because the flesh of the fruit clings to the stone, making it messy to separate, while freestone flesh, on the other hand, separates freely from the pit, making the freestones variety easier to eat out of your hand.
All peaches are fuzzy. The fuzz on the skin is controlled by a single gene. This means that nectarines are a virtually identical species, not a hybrid of peaches and plums as is sometimes thought. If you’re not fond of the fuzz, a great way to easily skin peaches neatly is through dropping a few at a time into a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds and then transferring them to cold water immediately. The skin will slip right off your hand.
The city of Gaffney in South Carolina in America is home to a peach-shaped water tower which was built in 1981. It weights more than 10,000 pounds, it claims to be the world’s largest peach.
Peaches are also referred to as “stone fruit” because of the hard pits surrounding their seeds. Although you can just add them to compost, these ‘stones’ can actually be pulverised into tiny beads which are perfect to use in facial cleansers, not to mention more environmentally friendly than plastic microbeads which pollute the water!v