Pretty as a Peach

Just back from visiting a dear friend in Toronto where the conversation got around to all the fresh  fruit coming into season there. My friend was furiously canning and freezing all the local strawberries and blueberries she could find with a plan to take on the bounty of fresh tomatoes coming in over the next few weeks. She is most looking forward to having  the benefit of local fruits and veggies next winter.

On my side of the lake the peaches are coming in.  Shanghai has its  own bounty of delicious summer fruits and vegetables in July but peaches are not the stars they are here. I always try the peaches in Shanghai but I rarely find one that matches the sweet, juicy flavor of New York State.

Like apples there isn’t just one peach to tempt our taste buds. In fact in Asia the favored peach variety is the White Lady. The White Lady is not too juicy but should be sweet with a lower acidity. The three varieties most common to the US are the Freestone, the Clingstone and the Semi-Freestone. As you can imagine , the flesh of the Freestone easily separates from the large center pit. The Freestone are great for eating right off the tree. The flesh of the Clingstone on the other hand sticks to the center stone. These peaches are softer and sweeter and are best for baking summer time peach pie. Then through the miracle of botany we have the semi-freestone , a peach that combines the easy eating of the Freestone with the juiciness of a Cling peach. Finally there is the Donut peach, a heirloom variety of peach that can be found in specialty markets.

If the sweet taste of summer isn’t enough to get you to eat a peach , consider that a medium size peach offers a a heap of vitamin A and C and a good dose of potassium in just 68 calories. Not to mention the 3 grams of fiber and inflammation fighting antioxidants.

Wherever you are this month be sure to enjoy the local fruits and vegetables  in the markets! Summer won’t last forever!

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!