Peaches were first cultivated in China and came to Europe via Persia, hence their ancient name, Persian apple. Peaches fall into two classes: freestone (the stone or pit falls easily away from the flesh) and clingstone (the pit firmly adheres to the flesh). Freestone peaches are commonly found in markets, and clingstone peaches are used for commerical purposes. The flesh is either yellow or white. The white flesh is a "sub-acid" fruit and its flavor is more sugary sweet. The more traditional color is yellow. It's more acidic, which gives it a bit more flavor.
Season: June - November
How to select: The best test of a good peach is to smell for a strong peach scent. The red blush on the skin is simply characteristic of certain varieties, not an indication of ripeness. Reject any peach with even a hint of green, which tells you the peach was picked immature and will never develop.
How to store: If you need to encourage ripening, store peaches in a brown paper bag. Refrigerate ripe peaches. Treat them gently as they bruise easily.
How to prepare: One pound of peaches (2-3 large or 3 med) will yield 2 cups sliced or 3 cups chopped. poach, raw
Matches well with: almonds, apricots, basil, berries, blackberries, clueberries, bourbon, brandy, brown sugar, Calvados, caramel, Cassis, Champagne, cherries, connamon, cloves, coconut, Cognac, Cointreau, cream, currants, ginger, Grand Marnier, hazelnuts, honey, Kirsch, lemon, lime, Madeira, maple syrup, Marsala, oranges, pecans, plums, port, raspberries, rum, sherry, sour cream, strawberries, sugar, vanilla, wine