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Peaches From A to Z: 26 Things to Know

Peaches From A to Z: 26 Things to Know

From Alexander the Great to Zest, from peach varieties to history and recipes, here are some peachy facts and figures you've probably never heard about.

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Alexander the Great. Peaches arrived in Rome first and became popular in the Mediterranean later. We have to thank Alexander the Great for it: peaches while visiting King Dario III’s gardens in Persia impressed him.

Beaujolais. Many important wines have a peach quality to them, including Beaujolais and Sancerre.

Clingstone. There are hundreds of types of peaches divided in two categories: “clingstones”, where the pulp is tightly attached to the pit, and “freestones”, where the pulp detaches itself easily from the pit.

Duck. Peach is the fruit that goes best with duck. Great with hen too.

Egypt. In Ancient Egypt peach was considered to belong to the sacred god Harpocrates, the god of silence and children. To this day children’s cheeks are compared to peaches because they are as soft and full.

Fried. Fried peaches are great and can be prepared like apples.

Gaffney. Here in South Carolina you have “The Peachoid”, a 135 feet (41 m) tall water tower that resembles a peach. It holds one million U.S. gallons (3.8 million liters) of water and is visible for several miles.

Hebei. Is the Chinese province in which they’ve found peach pits going back to the Shang dynasty (1570-1045 AC): the fruit was first grown there and it China still is the major producer worldwide.

Ice. Ice peaches are an old and elegant English snack. Boiled and peeled, you make them with lemony sugar cubes. You add a lot of ice and let it sit for at least two hours before you eat them.

Jam. You should use the aromatic kind for jams. The Leonforte is great, it’s Sicilian and each fruit is kept inside a paper bag starting mid June.

Kilocalories. Peaches don’t have a lot of sugar and not a lot of calories either: 30 calories per 100 grams.

Laxative. Peaches help with digestion and water retention as well as being a great natural laxative.

Melba. It's a classic French dessert (here you find the recipe), made with ripe peaches, raspberry puree and vanilla ice cream. Here you find the history of the recipe created by French chef Auguste Escoffier.

Nectarine. Nectarines don’t have peach fuzz.

Opera singer. The Melba peach was invented by the French Georges Auguste Escoffier in London at the end of the 19th century to honor the legendary Australian opera singer Nellie Melba, whom he greatly admired.

Prunus persica. The Prunus persica is a kind of Prunus – that includes peaches and cherries. Called Persica because it was imported from Persia.

Quartz. Peach Quartz comes from Brazil. The color of the stone comes from hematite; it’s used in crystal therapy and Feng Shui to restore harmony and charm.

Renoir. The velvety look of the peach inspired many painters: ripe peaches in fruit baskets in Caravaggio’s painting (1592), to those inside a jar by Monet (1866) to the Still life with peaches by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1880. The blooming peaches by Van Gogh (1888).

Stuffed. Stuffed peaches are a traditional sweet and sour traditional Italian recipe. The filling might change, but it’s always some sort of biscuit – usually amaretto – and liquor or wine. They are fresh and delicious right off the fridge.

Tobacco tin. Saturn peaches have an intense fragrance and taste very sweet, they can also be called tobacco tin peaches because of their crushed shaped. It’s very popular on different continents and the quality of the peach is way superior to other kinds. Great for ice cream and snow cones.

Ueda. Miwa Ueda is the creator of “Peach Girl”, a famous shojo manga (for teenage girls) that was adapted into an American TV series. The protagonist is Momo, which means Peach in Japanese.

Vietnamese New Year. Luna New Year celebration, called TET, is the biggest annual celebration in Vietnam (similar to Christmas in the western world). Bonsai trees, especially peach ones, are used as decoration and a branch of peach flower will be in everybody’s home.

White. The white variety has a white pulp. It’s usually more aromatic and rich compared to the yellow ones. The color depends on a single gene.

Xi Wangmu. Peach means immortality according to different cultures as well as having a relevant part in Chinese art and mythology. “Feast of Peaches” celebrates Xi Wangmu’s birthday, “Queen Mother of the West”, wife of the Jade Emperor, and offers “Peaches of immortality” to the divinities that participate to the banquet.

Yellow. Yellow peaches have a rich pulp and a lot of juice; a simple and clean taste.

Zest. Not just black pepper: spices and herbs that go well with peaches are basil, ginger, mint, estragon and cardamom. Rosemary, saffron and lavender.

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