Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peachy Keen

We are right smack in the middle of peach season in the U.S. It's hard to believe that peaches were non-existent in the continental U.S. until the mid-17th Century. They came from China.

More info about the peach's history can be found at This web page also offers guidance on what to look for when you're buying peaches from a store or roadside stand.

Peaches are one of my favorite fruits, but I have one complaint. Peaches have become so abused by the factory-style production methods adopted by agribusiness interests in this country that what shows up in the supermarkets is usually not worth eating. The skins are tough, and that's probably how the big agricultural interests prefer it -- thinking that blemishes or other surface damage is lessened that way.

Some of it is our own fault as consumers. We tend to buy fruit that looks "pretty" even if doing so seriously compromises the flavors and textures. Our appearance-obsessed society is slowly draining complex and marvelous flavors from foods.

Anyway, this is why I rarely buy a peach unless it is locally grown and/or comes from a farmers market. But if you can find some good peaches, then you've really got something. I found this recipe for a simple peach tart -- it looks tasty and it can be done with canned peaches if you don't have the time or ability to buy good fresh peaches.

I have another recipe for peaches that I will share in an upcoming post.

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