These tasty orangy-pink fuzzy skinned fruits are originally native to Northwest China.
Peaches were cultivated as long ago as 6000 BC, and were favored by Kings and Emperors. There are two basic types of peaches - clingstone and freestone. The peach, just like almonds, plums and apricots, are part of the rose family.
There are over 700 varieties peaches in the world.
Store ripe peaches at room temperature for up to 2 days. Do not allow peaches to touch.
Ripen peaches quickly by placing them in a brown paper bag. Watch them closely as they can ripen in 24 hours.
When choosing peaches, select fruit that is firm to slightly soft and free from bruises.
When looking for ripe peaches, look for varieties with a creamy or golden undertone.
Avoid peaches with a green color as they typically become tough and lack flavor.
Peaches picked when they are green may have more juice but they will not become sweeter as they ripen.
Broiled peaches are a delicious dessert when served with vanilla ice cream. To broil peaches, turn on the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil and place halved peaches cut side up on the sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Broil for 7 - 10 minutes. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.
Grilled peaches are a great contrast to grilled meats.
Peach fuzz is a natural defense system for protecting peaches from rainwater. The tiny hairs allow the droplets of water to sit on top of the fuzz and not penetrate the valuable and vulnerable skin of the fruit.
Wash peaches just before use.
If cooking peaches, remove the skin as it becomes tough when cooked.
To remove the skin, cut an X through the skin. Drop peaches into boiling water for 1 minute and then plunge the peaches immediately into ice water. The skin should peel easily. Once peeled, eat or cook immediately or dip into water with lemon juice to prevent darkening.
Enjoy fresh ripe peaches whole (including the skin).
If serving frozen peaches in a fruit salad, serve the frozen fruit with a few ice crystals remaining. If completely thawed, the fruit will become mushy.
Peach halves or slices packed in sugar or sweetened syrup remain plumper and firmer than peaches packed without sugar.
Peach is wonderful served in a crisp. Depending on the season, add other fruit such as raspberries.
Peaches are very low in calories and contain no saturated fats. They are packed with numerous health promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins.
Peaches are good for digestion and have a diuretic effect, so you can eat these fruits to cleanse your kidneys and bladder.
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