Thursday, 18 July 2013

USA Peaches - Firm, Fuzzy and Oh So Sweet!

Peaches to me has always come in cans instead of the fresh fruit. It was only much later when air transport made it a lot more possible that we started to get fresh peaches. And what a discovery! The fresh fruit is nothing like the canned variety of course but if it is in season, I will never go back to the canned varietal again.

I discovered that peaches come in generally two types - white and yellow flesh. What we typically get here is the white flesh varietal. In this case, we get ours from a local wholesaler who brings in from California from the Wawona Packing Company. Air flown from California, these peaches are the Snow Blaze White Peach variety. Red fuzzy skinned on the outside and creamy white on the inside. To determine the ripeness is to smell the fruit where the stem was. If it smells sweet and aromatic, it is ripe.
USA Peaches Box photo USAWhitePeachesCarton02.jpg

I believe the picking and packing is hand done. Peaches are susceptible to bruising during transport if not handled properly. They ripen quickly in warmer temperature so keeping them out of the fridge for a day or two after arrival will ensure a ripe fruit.
USA White Peaches Bubble Wrap Cushion photo USAWhitePeachesCarton05.jpg

All peaches are quoted with edible wax prior to shipping. The box also states it contains Fludioxonil - pesticides used. So it is best to wash them thoroughly prior to eating as one would for all fruits anyway.
USA Peaches Box photo USAWhitePeachesCarton.jpg

The type of peach is called Snow Blaze and I understand there are many other types of peaches all with very unique names. The skin is fuzzy and the peach is firm on the touch.
USA White Peaches Fuzzy Skin photo USAWhitePeaches06.jpg

When the fruit is cut, it reveals a creamy white flesh, juicy and firm to the bite. It is not as acidic as the yellow flesh varietal and definitely adds to the sweetness. The seeds are easy to remove and while my wife removed the somewhat fibrous insides, I eat the half cut fruit the way it is. And make sure you have tissues nearby as they are really juicy!
USA White Peaches Half photo USAWhitePeachesHalf04.jpg

See how small the seed is?
USA White Peaches Half with Seed photo USAWhitePeachesHalf03.jpg

Some interesting information about fruits - more than 70% of peaches are grown in California and most of them from the central valley area surrounding Fresno. The only difference between peaches and nectarine is in the skin - nectarines are smooth skinned while peaches have a fuzzy skin. But apparently, nectarines are sweeter and more aromatic. See the difference other than the size?
Comparison of Nectarine & Peach photo USAWhitePeachampNectarine01.jpg

There are more than 200 varietals of peaches and they grow between April-November each year. There is even a law determining the grading of peaches!
USA White Peaches photo USAWhitePeaches04.jpg

In this case, each box contains 34 peaches. In order for any variety to be marked "California Well Matured", the peaches have to meet certain requirements - (i) free from insect injuries, (ii) free from serious damage due to cuts, skin breaks, growth cracks, bruises, (iii) final determinations on maturity through the use of color chips etc. These are some of the stringent requirements to be met. One more look at the peach.
USA White Peaches Half photo USAWhitePeachesHalf01.jpg


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