Wednesday, July 27, 2005


With apologies to Roald Dahl, author of James and the Giant Peach.

Today’s post by the most estimable Bakerina got me to thinking about peaches - and how difficult it is to find really good ones, even in the heart of the Peach State.

Thanks to the demands of Modern Stoopidmarkets, who require a bruise-resistant, easily transportable fruit, most peaches these days are picked firm and unripe. The problem with this is that they never develop that wonderful texture and aroma that a tree-ripened peach should have.

The last really good peach I had was at a farmer’s market in California a couple of weeks ago. Bursting with flavor, it was, and it reminded me why I fell in love with the surprisingly sweet and delicious Raritan White Peach when we first discovered it in the wilds of western New Jersey a quarter-century ago.

I long to find some really good peaches. Serve ’em up with a pile of bright, fresh raspberries, and it’s a little slice of Heaven on Earth. Whoever first thought to pair those two flavors - Peach Melba! - was a bloomin’ genius.

Once upon a time, Good Humor - yes, that Good Humor - used to sell a Creamsicle-like affair called a Humorette. It was ice cream on a stick, coated with a layer of hard sherbet. In addition to the traditional orange sherbet/vanilla ice cream combo, they offered one with raspberry sherbet enveloping a core of peach ice cream. Dastardly, that was.

But right now, I will sit here and dream of peaches. And, since I started this mess by talking of Giant Peaches, here is a real Giant Peach:

The Great Gaffney Peachoid

This baby sits alongside Interstate 85 in Gaffney, South Carolina, just a few miles up the road from the Greenville-Spartanburg mini-metroplex. Looks luscious, no? And from the right angle, it’s Hoo-Hah!

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