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Friday, August 24, 2018

Everything You Wanted To Know about Peaches But Were Afraid to Ask National Peach Pie Day

You didn’t know the peach had a history, did you? Because today August 24, is National Peach Pie Day (and who doesn’t love peach pie?), I thought I’d find out all I could about the summertime favorite, the peach. Here’s what Wikipedia says:

The peach (Prunus persica) is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China between the Tarim Basin and the north slopes of the Kunlun Shan mountains, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach or a nectarine. The People’s Republic of China is the world’s largest producer of peaches. (I sure didn’t know the peach originated in China, and I thought the largest peach producer was the state of Georgia).
Peach and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. In contrast to peaches, whose fruits present the characteristic fuzz on the skin, nectarines are characterized by the absence of fruit-skin trichomes (fuzz-less fruit); genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from a dominant allele for fuzzy skin. Source: Wikipedia.
The peach was brought to India and Western Asia in ancient times. Peach cultivation also went from China, through Persia, and reached Greece by 300 BC. Alexander the Great introduced the fruit into Europe after he conquered the Persians. Peaches were well known to the Romans in first century AD, and were cultivated widely in Emilia-Romagna. Peach trees are portrayed in the wall paintings of the towns destroyed by the Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD, while the oldest known artistic representations of the fruit are in the two fragments of wall paintings, dated back to the 1st century AD, in Herculaneum, now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Source: Wikipedia
Spanish explorers in the 16th century brought the peach to the Americas, and the fruit eventually made it to England and France in the 17th century, where it was a prized and expensive treat. During Queen Victoria’s reign, peaches were served in fancy cotton napkins at the end of meals.
Spanish settlers brought peaches to Florida, where the Cherokee and Iroquois learned to grow them. Cherokee and Iroquois traders sold peach seeds farther west, and peach seeds crossed the North American continent to meet up with peach trees planted by Spanish settlers in Arizona and California.
The horticulturist George Minifie supposedly brought the first peaches from England to its North American colonies in the early 17th century, planting them at his Estate of Buckland in Virginia. Although Thomas Jefferson had peach trees at Monticello, United States farmers did not begin commercial production until the 19th century in Maryland, Delaware, Georgia and finally Virginia.

·        The state of Georgia has been known as the center of peach growers.
·        Georgia is known as the “Peach State”.
·        Peach harvest occurs between June and August.
·        Harvest from each peach tree lasts about one week.
·        There are two main varieties of peaches: Clingstone and Freestone.
·        A medium peach weighs 2.6 oz.
·        A medium peach typically contains 30 calories, 7 g of carbohydrate, 1 g of protein, 140 mg of potassium, and 8% of the daily value for vitamin C.

There you have it. If your mouth is watering as you consider eating a sweet, juicy peach, here’s an easy peach recipe I love to make. I don’t make pies because I’m a lousy baker, and pies are above my skill set. However, this recipe is so easy, even I don’t mess it up.

Peach Crostata
Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, toss 1 pound peaches, peeled and thinly sliced, with 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1/8 tsp. ground ginger, and a pinch of salt. Unroll 1 refrigerated ready-to-use piecrust (for 9-in. pie) on cookie sheet. Arrange peach mixture on crust, leaving 2-in. border; fold border over filling. Bake 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Read a delicious romance while biting into a juicy peach. How about a luscious sensual story set in sunny Italy?

Sensual. Sumptuous. Sizzling.

Love under an Italian sky.

A San Francisco sous chef discovers she might have bitten off more than she can chew when a scrumptious Italian man stirs up a recipe for romance on the delicious Isle of Capri.

Sous chef Cat Connors has spent a lifetime feeling like a stale cracker on a plate of fancy hors d'oeuvres among her stepfamily. But when she travels from San Francisco to the sunny Isle of Capri, she’s determined to finally shed her dowdy image and spice up her life. She has big plans for her future as a chef. Those plans don’t include a yummy Italian with a mouth-watering body and a smile that melts her insides like gelato under the hot Capri sun.

When Alex Viteli retreats to his villa on Capri to escape the notoriety and legal troubles brought on by his family, the last thing he needs is a beautiful, tempting dish of a woman. Alex may be the scion of a wealthy Italian family, but that won’t matter if he can’t cook up a scheme to clear his father’s name and keep himself out of prison.

Though they fit together like strawberries and chocolate, Cat and Alex may not have time for more than a quick bite of romance. Cat’s future is in San Francisco. Alex can’t leave Italy. But the sultry Capri nights might tempt them both to savor just one more sweet taste of love.

Includes bonus recipe

2016 Finalist Maple Leaf Awards, best novella, best hero, best heroine

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Paris said...

Interesting history. I had no idea the peach wasn't a native American tree, I only knew they were delicious. Thanks for the recipe! I love peaches and you can bet I will be trying this one out:)

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks for visiting, Paris. I thought the history of peaches was interesting too. That recipe is so easy and so delicious. Enjoy!

The Reading Frenzy said...

Holy Peach Pit Batman I did not know about the origins or its close relationship with the Nectarine Thanks for sharing I'm enjoying the local peaches still but they are waining so I think I'll freeze some for that unicorn of fresh peach pie in January.
Great post!

J Jaytanie said...

I enjoyed your post, Cara. I didn't realize the Spanish explorers brought over peaches. I guess I always thought peaches were as American as apple pie. Great - now all I can think about is peach and apple pie!

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