Thursday, February 25, 2010
On White Peaches
I love white peaches. They are one of the things that I am going to miss about summer.
In Melbourne, white peaches typically start appearing in late Spring. However beware of those early pickings---they are either petrol guzzlers or early bloomers that could not get enough sun to turn their flesh into nectar. As a result, most of them will turn you off peaches for a long, long time. I pity the person whose first taste of peaches fall at that inopportune of times.
Peaches need the sun, and a bit of heat, to ripen. When I buy my tree ripened (yet still firm) peaches from the farmers' market, I normally leave the whole punnet out by the window for a couple of days. When I see their fuzzy skin start to wrinkle around the top, I know that they are ready for me.
My favourite, as I said, is the white freestone variety. This is the peach, with its white flesh and red pit, that created so much envy among other peaches. More subtle than the flavourful, and sometimes tart yellow variety, the white peach is like the that elegant cousin you see once a year at reunions, whose refined manners you secretly and desperately tried to mimic.
There are many ways to eat a peach. I for one will not be so bold as to instruct you on how to eat yours. However, I hope that you will allow me the indulgence of sharing mine. Dispensing with all cutlery or graceful manners, I eat mine right over the sink. There are few greater pleasures than eating a luscious, ripe peach, and letting its saccharine juices run down your arm to your elbow, catching the droplet with the tip of your finger, and then bringing it to your lips to savour every last bit of summer sunshine.
You can, of course, eat a peach in a more civilised manner, say, sliced and arranged on a plate, or with the skin off, but to me, there just can be no other way. And besides, if you don't tell and I say nothing, this can just stay between us, no?