Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meatless Monday: Celebrating the Peach

Local peaches arrived in Connecticut markets early last week – just in time for National Peach Month.

Some are ripening on my counter right now, releasing their sweet, calming scent. [The peach is, after all a member of the fragrant Rose family.]

My niece just tweeted about grilling peaches on the Cape. And I am dreaming of peach jam, peach crisp, and peach pie.

This luscious fruit is an important crop in a number of states, most notably in California and in Georgia. But did you know that this celebrated summer fruit is not native to North America? 

The peach was first cultivated in China. From there it spread west to Persian and then to Europe. The Romans, who mistakenly believed the peach originated from Persia, named it the Persian apple (Prunus persica). It is believed that Spaniards brought peaches to the New World; Spanish missionaries planted the first peach trees in California.

Since the 1800s peaches have been grown commercially in the US, which now supplies 25% of the world’s peaches

Soon it will be Pick-Your-Own season in Connecticut, and I can’t wait.

In anticipation, I have begun rooting around for some of my best recipes for one of my favorite summer fruits. Come back next week to see what I’ve turned up.

Happy Monday. Thanks for reading. 

I often blog on food, food issues, or topics related to growing things on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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