Friday, August 15, 2014

Peaches 101

Peaches (Prunus Persica) are a type of stone fruit from a deciduous tree that is native to China. The Prunus genus includes the cherry and the plum which are in the family Rosaceae. Peaches and Nectarines are the same species but Peaches are characterized by their fuzzy skins. Peaches with white flesh tend to be very sweet, whereas those with yellow flesh tend to be slightly more acidic. Depending on whether or not the flesh sticks to the pit, peaches are divided into "clingstones" and "freestones." China is the world’s largest producer of peaches. To learn more about Peaches click here.  

To Store

Store ripe peaches in the refrigerator to prevent further ripening. The cold air in the refrigerator is dehydrating, so watch out for wrinkly skin which is a sign of both drying and over-ripening. For peaches that are not quite ready to eat the best advice is to keep them on the kitchen counter. Sunshine will hasten this process a bit, but the spot should not be too hot. For peaches that are still quite firm, speed up the ripening process by putting the peaches in a paper bag. The bag will capture the ethylene gas that peaches give off naturally and speed up the ripening process. Peaches may also be preserved or frozen. To learn how to freeze peaches click here.  
To Nourish

Peaches contain high amounts of fiber. Nutrients include Vitamin A, C, B & E. Peaches are also a good source of Niacin along with Potassium and Calcium. For more nutrition facts about peaches click here.  

To Prepare

Peaches can be eaten raw and used fresh in smoothies and fruit salads. They can be baked in cobblers and pies, made into jams, and added as a sweet touch to savory meat dishes with poultry, pork and veal. Peaches are great off the grill. For more on preparation click here

To Try 

To Use

You’ll use this W├╝sthof Classic 3 1/2" Paring Knife every day for the precise work of trimming, peeling and slicing fresh produce. Now featuring a more acute edge angle, the high-carbon steel blade cuts with razor sharpness, is easy to maintain and holds its edge for longer. This knife has a compact spear-point blade that ideal for peeling, slicing, trimming and dicing small fruits and vegetables.  ($39.95, Williams-Sonoma)