Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cresthaven Freestone Peach

Cresthaven Freestone Peach

Peaches require a few postings to cover the different types and tips to picking the perfect peach.

Yellow Fleshed Peaches:

Supermarkets today require growers to ship peaches rock-hard to ensure they have a few days of shelf-life because consumers have a terrible habit of squeezing this fruit to death. It SOP (standard operating procedure) for supermarkets to reject shipments of ripe peaches.

Buying peaches is easy, a ripe peach will emit a wonderful aroma that can't be mistaken for anything else and your stomach may grumble in anticipation of your biting into this wonderful piece of fruit. A peach will also look nice with lots of red color and have a smooth, clean appearance. Green peaches and peaches with green shoulders will NEVER ripen. If you can't find any ripe peaches at your local supermarket I would suggest trying a farmer's market.

Semi-freestone means the flesh comes off the stone when ripe. Just take a knife and cut the peach down the middle cutting around the stone, then grab both sides with your hands and twist and the peach halves will separate cleanly from the pit. Freestone peaches are better for canning because the skin also comes off the flesh much easier with little waste.

Peach fuzz is not a common sight today because growers run their fruit through a washer and scrubber before shipping to market; the exception is farmer's markets where smaller growers will sell their peaches fresh off the tree.

A slight ridge (bump) running down one side of a peach means there's a split stone inside which can alter the taste and quality. A blackhead sized spot on the tip of the bum means the fruit is not fresh and can spoil quickly (even if the rest of the fruit looks great).

Sometimes you will notice a indentation on the shoulder of the peach, this is the mark of where the tree limb was attached to the peach and is quite normal; this doesn't affect the quality of the fruit. Black bruising is a sign of rough handling by the picker which is caused by pulling down too hard on the peach when picking. You can usually place your fingers into these black bruises and they will match up with the picker's own finger marks.

I don't recommend buying fruit if there's a hole (split stone) in the top at the stem base, little creatures like to crawl inside and you may get an unpleasant surprise when you bite into the fruit. Some of these insects are the size of a medium size roach and they can bite.

Some supermarkets today will also offer tree-ripened fruit with "tree ripened" decals stuck on every peach. This is a great alternative too and it's hard to go wrong though the price will be a little higher.

It's okay to give a peach a little squeeze with your thumb when checking the ripeness, a little give is perfect. Lots of give means the fruit is bad. If you need to ripen peaches it's best to lay them out on your counter with their shoulders face down.

This video shows a premium grower that packs his fruit directly into boxes, the quality is exceptional. The pickers are select picking fruit from the trees. There is a worker on the trailer double checking the quality.



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