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Nectarines are a fabulous summer stone fruit, very closely related to the peach. There has been a long standing misconception that nectarines are a cross between a peach and a plum; this is absolute nonsense. Nectarines are a naturally occurring variety of peaches Prunus persica var. nectarina that simply has a genetically recessive gene dictating the differences between the two fruit.

These differences are slight, but enough to ensure this fruit has its own loyal followers. Firstly and most significantly, nectarines have a smooth skin. They lack the fuzzy down of peach skins that some find unappetizing (as to why they would, I am unsure). Secondly, in the main nectarines tend to be a little smaller than their fuzzy cousin. The third difference is dissipating as more varieties come onto the market each year, but in general the nectarine season starts a little later than peaches.

Just like peaches, nectarines are native to China. Peaches were eventually discovered in Persia by Alexander the Great, who then introduced them to Greece. It is entirely possible that the naturally occurring nectarine came with him as well. This supports the most common theory behind the fruits name, the Greek nektar, or liquid of the Gods.

Nectarines come in either yellow or white-fleshed varieties, and possess stones that either adhere to the flesh, clingstone varieties, or stones that come away easily, freestone nectarines.

A wonderful method of serving nectarines and peaches as well is to poach them. It is simply a matter of gently simmering the fruit in a spice infused sugar syrup. The skins of the fruit give a delightful rose-pink blush to the syrup, which can then be reduced and poured over the finished dessert.

Poached Nectarines


  • 6 nectarines or peaches
  • 2 cups (500 ml) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • Method

    Place the sugar, wine, vanilla bean and lemon rind in a heavy-based saucepan, along with 1 litre (4 cups) of water. Stir well and bring to the simmer. Wash the nectarines and submerge in the simmering liquid, turning down the heat so it is at a very gentle bubble. Cover the nectarines with a sheet of cooking parchment and weigh the lot down with a small plate. This will ensure that all the fruit is fully submerged and they will cook evenly.

    Cook at this gentle heat for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the nectarines. Piece the fruit with a skewer; they are cooked when it will insert easily to the centre.

    Lift the fruit out with a slotted spoon and allow to cool a little. Peel away the skin while they are still warm and discard. Reduce the syrup of medium heat until it is half the original volume.

    When ready to serve, re-warm the peaches in a microwave for a few second and plate up with a Almond Wafer, a dollop of crème fraiche and some of the delicious pink syrup.

    See also: Peach

    sneff above continues the longstanding propaganda war being waged by members of the Botanical/Culinary Cabal (of which sneff is an admitted member) to convince the innocent public that there is in fact "a long standing misconception that nectarines are a cross between a peach and a plum". Sure, many people think it. And with good reason, too: I say, knowing the next apple I eat may well be poisoned, that NECTARINES ARE A CROSS BETWEEN A PEACH AND A PLUM.

    Notice how sneff's diabolical argument proceeds: An unsubstantiated claim that some mysterious "recessive gene" makes a peach into a nectarine. Think about it: one gene, three differences. True to the form of the B/CC, sneff tries to make light of these differences. Yet even he must admit that these so-called "slight" differences are "enough to ensure this fruit has its own loyal followers". Suddenly not-so-recessive-"slight"-differences, eh Mr. sneff (if that is your real name)?? Of course, in an age when genomes are sequenced on a day to day basis, "sneff" doesn't bother to give us a GenBank id for this so-called putative gene. I proclaim, despite the threats of the B/CC, that NECTARINES ARE A CROSS BETWEEN A PEACH AND A PLUM.

    Then we're treated to some "historical" speculation (even "sneff" admits it is entirely unfounded) that Alexander the Great brought peaches and nectarines from China, despite the fact that he'd never been anywhere near China, and despite the fact that he must have known these 2 fruits were, in fact, the same fruit, varying only by some conveniently recessive gene. Why bring both, if they are in fact only one? Recall that Alexander the Great's tutor was Aristotle, the inventor of Biology and therefore presumably the founder of the B/CC. I say, against close to 2,500 years of lies piled up against free thinkers by the B/CC, that NECTARINES ARE A CROSS BETWEEN A PEACH AND A PLUM.

    What have we had so far? A HYPOTHESIZED (not sequenced) "gene", and some vague appeal to authority based on legend. Any thinking person will say, as I do, that NECTARINES ARE A CROSS BETWEEN A PEACH AND A PLUM.

    It only goes downhill from there for sneff and the rest of the B/CC. The Latin name (presumably Latin is introduced here to exclude lay persons from the discussion) for a nectarine is "Prunus persica var. nectarina". See the first word? "Prune". A prune is a plum. So much for being a recessive peach rather than a plum. Even the name says it: NECTARINES ARE A CROSS BETWEEN A PEACH AND A PLUM.

    Cognizant of his failure to supply any form whatsoever of logical argument (let alone proof), sneff proceeds to Aristotles' favourite rhetorical device: he bribes the reader with a recipe for sweets. "Poach" them, indeed. But even here, elementary logic foils sneff. If nectarines are, in fact, peaches, why would we need a separate recipe for nectarines? Why isn't sneff merely pointing us to a recipe for peaches? Even an admitted member of the B/CC such as sneff is forced to admit that NECTARINES ARE A CROSS BETWEEN A PEACH AND A PLUM.


    Though I fear B/CC forces have located the computer terminal from which I am broadcasting, I will risk deploying one more fact. Truth and Freedom are what separate us from the animals; I cannot be held but to these two. Hebrew has a colloquial (the B/CC infiltrated the Hebrew Language Academy many years ago, of course) word for nectarine. It's formed by running together the words for "peach" and "plum". This is the language God used to talk to Moses; in Hebrew, NECTARINES ARE A CROSS BETWEEN A PEACH AND A PLUM.

    Nec"tar*ine (?), a.





    © Webster 1913.

    Nec"tar*ine, n. [Cf. F. nectarine. See Nectar.] Bot.

    A smooth-skinned variety of peach.

    Spanish nectarine, the plumlike fruit of the West Indian tree Chrysobalanus Icaco; -- also called cocoa plum. it is made into a sweet conserve which a largely exported from Cuba.


    © Webster 1913.

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