The peach- a symbol of renewal, youth, longevity, and immortality. Summers in Texas were filled with hand cranked ice cream made with rock salt, pound cake, blackberry cobbler , and homemade peach cobblers with a golden lattice crust. Once I moved to Maryland, Aunt June, a chef at a country club in Paris, Texas, baked and sent me home with peach hand pies that filled my carryon bag on return trips to the DMV. Peaches grew with little fuss on a neighbor's tree near my grandparent's house, and thrived in the Texas heat. We took for granted that peach trees blossomed ,and bore fruit with little need for insecticides and fungicides in some parts of Texas. At the end of the summer, peach trees were heavy with enough ripe fruit for Sunday dinner peach cobblers , and for packing Mason jars with a taste of sweetness for the winter months.
Freestone peaches, named because they are easily separated from the hard pit in the center, are sweet , fragrant, some yellow, some white ,and are in season now. Clingstone peaches cling with their last strand of flesh to the pit like cling wrap. If you've ever had peaches from a salad bar, fruit cup or canned peaches from your pantry, chances are you've tasted a clingstone peach.
And then there is the donut peach, also known as a Saturn peach. The peach that looks more like a mini jelly donut with a thumbprint in the center. The unique peach with a bespoke floral perfume that transports you to a spice rack filled with hints of vanilla, and almond essence.
The donut peach is a heirloom peach variety originating in China , ,cultivated and domesticated from its' hairy , small and sour ancestor from China. This pale yellow, less fuzzy, peach variety was introduced to the US in the late 1800's. Once scientists at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experimental Station cultivated and developed a frost tolerant winter hardy variety, the donut peach tree began growing successfully in Zones 5-8, and since the 1990's have slowly populated grocery store shelves and farmers market tables.
Low in calories, with Vitamin C, Vitamin A , complex carbohydrates and fiber, the donut peach is a great snack for a lunchbox, before or after a workout, or even with your morning coffee. And for parents with student athletes, after the first bite into a donut peach, your child may ask for more food in its' original packaging.
This week ,we have organically grown donut peaches in our Nourish Well farm share.