Peach is one of the most popular fruits in the world. It came to the West from China, where it was grown from about 1000 BC. In China, during the wedding, the bride is presented with blossoming peach branches. The ancient Romans called the peach the "Persian apple"; peach trees were brought to North America on the ships of Columbus. Peaches have excellent taste and are grown in many countries. Peaches can be eaten raw or cooked; choose ripe fruits and savor their taste.
Part 1 of 3: Choosing Peaches
Step 1. Buy peaches during their season
Fresh fruit tastes best when it is ripe when ripe and ready to fall from the tree. The ripening time depends on the region of growth of the peaches and their variety. In Russia, peaches are grown in the southern regions, where they ripen throughout August-September. Peaches are also imported to Russia from abroad, mainly from Europe (Spain, Greece, Italy), Uzbekistan and Turkey, where their season lasts from June to October.
Step 2. Choose ripe peaches
It is best to buy ripe fruit within 2-3 days of purchase. In supermarkets, peaches are usually less ripe, but if stored at room temperature out of direct sunlight, they ripen in 3-7 days. Peaches stop ripening in the refrigerator, so if the fruit is ripe enough, place it in a paper bag and put it in the refrigerator.
- When buying peaches at the supermarket, choose peaches that are heavier than they look - this indicates that the fruit pulp is filled with juice.
- Don't squeeze the peaches to see if they are ripe. Ripe fruits will let the juice out, but after that, marks will remain on them, which will soon begin to rot.
- Typically, ripe peaches have a strong odor at the stem, although the intensity of the odor varies by cultivar.
Step 3. Peach comes in many varieties
This fruit has been cultivated for almost 3000 years and there are hundreds of varieties. In the West, most species have yellow-orange flesh, while Asian peaches tend to have white flesh.
- Which peaches are best? Fruits grown in the area and recently plucked from the tree are most delicious. They are much fresher and juicier than imported peaches, since they do not need to be transported over long distances and are plucked from the trees more ripe.
- There are many varieties of peach. According to the ripening period, they are divided into early, middle and late. Popular early varieties include Kievsky early, Redhaven, Collins and others. Among the varieties of medium and late ripening are Cardinal and Kremlin.
- Peaches are divided into varieties with separating and non-separating stones. As the name implies, in the first species, unlike the second, the bone is rather freely separated from the pulp. There are also hybrid varieties.
- As a rule, in peaches with delicate pulp, the bone is separated from the pulp freely, and they are most popular fresh. Ripe peaches have a very juicy pulp that literally melts in your mouth. On the other hand, peaches with non-separable pits have firmer flesh, they have a longer shelf life, and therefore are mainly used for preservation.
Step 4. Store peaches properly
After collecting or purchasing the fruit, remove the stalk and place it down where it was on a light cloth so that the fruit "breathes" at the final ripening. For this, linen or cotton napkins are well suited. Cover the peaches with a light napkin. Place them in the refrigerator on napkins or folded in a paper bag and wait until the pulp is juicier, giving off a pleasant aroma.
- After placing the peaches in the refrigerator, it is advisable to eat them within a few days. In less than a week, the fruit will become overripe. Never store peaches in sealed plastic bags - they will quickly deteriorate in them.
- If you want to freeze peaches, quickly blanch them, cut the peels off with a knife, and cut the fruit into convenient slices. Store them in tightly sealed bags.
Part 2 of 3: Eating Raw Peaches
Step 1. Wash the peaches before eating
Wash peaches just before eating or cooking under clean water by rubbing lightly with your hand or a fruit and vegetable brush. This will remove dirt, bacteria and possible pesticide residues.
- Wash the peaches just before you eat them. Washing the fruit and storing it in the refrigerator will speed up spoilage and bacterial growth.
- While the peach rind is also delicious, if you don't like the texture, you can peel it off with a peeling knife. Peach skins contain many beneficial phytochemicals and fibers, but many people don't like them due to their fluffiness.
Step 2. Eat a peach just like an apple
What's the best way to eat a ripe peach? Just sink your teeth into it and let the fragrant juice drip down your chin. Eat all of the pulp except the center pit.
- Try cutting the peach in half by twisting the knife around the center of the pit and carefully separating the halves. After that, you can easily remove the bone and eat the separated halves, without fear that something solid remains between them.
- One of the great things about ripe peaches is their juiciness. Some fruits are so juicy that you need to be careful when eating them so that the juice does not get on your clothes. To avoid this, you can place a handkerchief or paper towel under your chin.
Step 3. Cut the peach into slices
Take a paring knife and cut the peach from stem to top along the edge of the pit. Divide the fruit in half and cut each half into three or more wedges, depending on the size. This method allows you to fully enjoy the taste of fresh peaches.
- Try sprinkling the peach wedges with a little cinnamon or yellow sugar to accentuate the flavor of the fruit. You can also drizzle fresh cream over it.
- If you come across a very ripe peach, it can be difficult to remove the pit from it. While trying to detach the slices from the bone, you can crush the tender fruit.
Step 4. Add peach slices to yogurt or curd
Diced peach will give your yoghurt a great flavor and sweeten it. In addition to the probiotics present in yogurt, you will consume a fruit rich in iron, sodium, vitamins A and C, antioxidants and various phytochemicals. Also, last but not least, the yogurt tastes much better.
Want to make a great dessert? Add chunks of peach to a glass of vanilla ice cream for an unforgettable taste
Step 5. Add peaches to various smoothies
Small slices of this fruit will improve the taste of the drink, make it aromatic and sweet. The following simple recipes are suitable for breakfast:
- In a mixer, mix the peeled peach and milk in equal proportions, with the addition of ice (for a generous serving, two cups of each ingredient are enough). Then add about a third of the orange juice and honey to taste.
- You can also add yogurt, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peanut butter, chia (Spanish sage) seeds, or oats.
Step 6. Use a peach to decorate dishes
Sliced peaches can be added to a variety of cereals and other foods to add flavor and sweetness. Peach slices can be used to decorate the following dishes:
- oatmeal or other breakfast cereals;
- semolina porridge;
- polenta or corn porridge;
Step 7. Prepare a Bellini cocktail
Want to make the refreshing peach drink that Hemingway loved? No problem. Mix the pulp of a peach and a little lemon to create the base for a sweet and refreshing champagne cocktail. Try mixing the following ingredients in a mixer:
- Take four peeled and peeled peaches and one lemon and blend until smooth, then add sugar or honey to taste and one to two tablespoons of lemon juice.
- Pour the resulting mixture into a champagne glass and fill it with the same amount of good Italian sparkling wine (spumante or prosecco) or champagne. You will make a great refreshing cocktail.
Part 3 of 3: Peach Dishes
Step 1. Prepare the Melba peach
You will need peeled peaches, grated fresh raspberries, and vanilla ice cream. Here's how this dish is prepared:
- Take a frying pan, pour a glass of water, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a cup of sugar into it, then, stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Bring the solution to a boil and toss in the four pitted and peeled peaches, halved. Continue heating the mixture until the peaches are soft, then remove them with a slotted spoon.
- In a blender, stir three cups of fresh raspberries, a quarter cup of granulated sugar, and a tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Let the peaches cool and transfer to a cool platter, topped with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.
Step 2. Add peaches to baked goods
Any peaches are suitable for this - unripe and overripe, with easy or difficult separating pits, sweet and not so - these fruits serve as an excellent addition to cakes, pies and cookies. If you have enough peaches, feel free to add them to your favorite baked goods.
- Bake a peach pie. This excellent dish is most often prepared in late summer, during the peach season. The cake is tasty, sweet and easy to prepare. Prepare a flaky pie base and filling by adding grated peach pulp to it; sprinkle the cake with crumbs on top.
- Bake a peach muffin. It looks like a pie, but it is not sprinkled with crumbs on top, but decorated with a sweet, aromatic and crunchy filling, adding vanilla ice cream. You can't tear yourself away from this dish.
Step 3. Preserve the peaches
If you have a lot of peaches and you don't have time to eat them fresh, you can make a wonderful sweet jam from them, which will delight you in winter. Mix the grated peach pulp with white sugar in equal proportions, add a little lemon juice and pectin.
- Instructions for use and dosage of pectin are usually given on its packaging and depend on what kind of fruit you are preserving. When preparing jam, follow these instructions carefully.
- Try peach-ginger jam, which works well in a variety of marinades and fried meat dishes; To do this, mix the peaches with ginger syrup. Blueberries, plums or cherries are also often added to jam.
Step 4. Dry the peaches
Once you've tried different peach dishes, you can dry them out for the winter. The best way is to cut the fruit into small wedges and dry them in a fruit and vegetable dryer or in a conventional oven at the lowest possible temperature for an extended period. Remember: low temperature and long time.
5 Grill the peaches with the meat. Although quite unusual, peaches are a good addition to many grilled dishes. Peach slices quickly give their aromatic juice to the meat, and they can be added (by stringing on skewers between pieces of meat or placing on top of roasted meat) to pork, chicken or beef.