I’ve been really psyched over how good peaches have been this season. After the disappointment of stone fruit last summer (where everything was just too sour to eat) the peaches we’ve been getting this winter have been a dream.
The first shipments of peaches to hit the supermarkets this winter tasted like the peaches a young Cillian Mac Tiernan brings an offering to the Maghuin Dhonn in Jacqueline Carey’s Naamah’s Kiss: “The peaches smelled ripe and heady and wonderful … it was thick and sweet, tasting of long hours ripening on the branch and sunshine’s promised fulfilled.” In fact, the first peaches we had this winter were so ripe and juicy, you had to eat them standing over the sink with your sleeves rolled up to avoid the juice running down your arm.
As the weeks went by, the later peaches were harder, which made them easier to cut up for eating, but their pale, pink-tinted flesh has been just as sweet and succulent as their predecessors.
Known to the ancient Romans as the Persian apple, peaches are rumoured to have originated from China where they represent protection (with sorcerers carrying peach wood wands) and as the fruit of immortality. And it’s no wonder they’re so popular – just look at how pretty they are with their rose-gold blushes on the outside and their sweet pink-and-white juicy flesh on the inside. Hold the cream, as I’m not a fan of the whipped stuff, but life, as they say, is definitely feeling like a bowl of peaches for me.