One candle burns brightly. Peach colored. The flame hardly moves. It is subtle, a wisp of a body. At the slightest flick of my finger, it quavers. The wax around the wick melts. I stare at it, see no change. But if I turn my eyes away for a moment, I look back to see that the wax has been lapped up a bit more.

It gives off a light peach scent. It doesn't really smell like peaches. The scent isn't unpleasant exactly, just false. Like artificially flavored lollipop smell.

I went peach picking once with my family. The peaches were big and juicy and very sweet. But that can also be a bad thing when peach picking, because many of the overripe ones fall to the ground and under the hot sun, they become mushy and runny, their scent becomes a pungent odor, beckoning flies to come drink of their sweet juices.

And you alone stand there. Flies swarming about your legs. Sweating under the sun. Your fingers and face sticky from sampling too many of the dripping fruit.

When you go to the supermarket, you are generally presented with only one variety of peach, a freestone peach closely related to that developed by Luther Burbank, one of America's leading horticulturists. Generally, while there are many varieties of peach, they are characterized as freestone or clingstone. The freestone peach has a larger pit or stone which comes away from the fruit more easily, and is thus considered suitable for eating as is, while the clingstone peach, having more flesh, is generally used for canning.

Peach: Plant Patent 15. Filed Dec. 23, 1930 by Luther Burbank.

This invention relates to a new and distinct variety of peach.

This new variety of peach has result from years of experimenting with a definite objective in view, that is, to produce a satisfactory yellow freestone peach which ripens half way between the ripening periods of the known varieties, the June Elberta and the Early Alberta. It is similar to the Hale peach except that it has a large pit. Its blood and seed are similar to the Muir, but the fruit is more golden in color. It is a stronger growing tree than the Valient and is not subject to peach curl and disease (Bacteria impruni) as is the last named variety. This new variety products a very large fruit which averages about one-half pound. Its golden color with maroon shadings modified by a grayis pubescence, adds to its effectiveness in size. Although the skin of the fruit is thin and tender, tests have proven it to be a remarkable shipper; coupled with its great size, impressive coloring, excellent quality, and being a freestone, it represents an outstanding commercial peach. When cut in half, a pleasing modified apricot yellow flesh is dosclosed which has a peach red tinge near the pit.

The following specifications and attached drawing show the distinctions and general characteristics of this new variety which has been asexually reproduced.


Tree -- The tree, being of vigorous growth, is larger than other varieties of the same age. Its branches are stout, with strong, well knit forks, of divergent habit, with an average angle of 45 to 60 degrees. The bark on the trunk of the young tree forms scales, curling in rather thin flakes, transversely around the trunk. The color is russet brown, modified by light olive gray scarfskin, which, on younger branches has a silvery gloss.

Twigs -- The new growth twigs are vigorous and stout, varying to rather slender on lower branches and becoming drooping as growth progresses. The color of the bark of the twigs is glossy courge green minutely dotter with lighter green and shaded vandyke red on exposed side, changing to buckthorn brown on earliest groth of the season. The internodes are short to medium. The dormant fruit buds are medium to large, prominent, free, and dull red-brown with grayish pubescence. The leaf buds are rather small and appressed.

Foliage -- The foliage is abundant. The leaves are medium to large, strongly incurved. The texture is thick, soft, and almost velvety. The base is tapering and acute. The blade is flat to distinctly folded, and wrinkled along the midrib. The margin is wavy with a crenate edge, having minute reddish points strongly forward. The apex is acuminate to lanceolate. The upper surface is smooth, dull, with slight silvery sheen on oldest leaves. The color is hellebore to courge green. The undersurface is smooth and deep grape green in color.

Glands -- There are from two to four large reniform glands, often with additional rudimentary glands on the base of the blade.

Petiole -- The petiole is rather short, and is stout. Its color is clear dull green-yellow, extending to midrib and often extensively tinged vandyke red as on the twigs. The upper side is deeply grooved.


Form -- The form is globular with rather broad base and prominent apex producing a broad cordate outline in the longitudinal cross-section. The size is large and uniform, being about three inches axial diameter, and three inches largest transverse diameter, the sides being unequal. The stem is short and moderately stout. The cavity is wide and of medium depth. The suture begins in the cavity, being rather deep at first, becoming a lone over the side of the fruit, again more distinct and deep, and dneing at the apex which is prominent acute to mammiform.

Color -- The color is light orange yellow to capucine orange, largely tinged with minute dots of peach red shading to nopal red and maroon on exposed cheek. The general color effect is somewhat modified by a light to medium persistent grayish pubescence.

Skin -- The skin is thin and tender, and is readily removed when the fruit is fully mature.

Stone -- The stone is entirely free from the flesh and is medium to rather small as compared withthe size of the fruit. The shape of the stone is oval to broadly ovate. Its dimensions are about one and one-half inches long, including the pointed apex, and about one and one-eighth inches wide, and one inch thick. The base is wide and somewhat indented or notched. The ventral suture is prominent, rigid, nearly winged, and flanked by a deep furrow on each side. The dorsal suture is a deep narrow groove. The apex is sharply acute, almost acuminate. The sides are deeply convoluted and pitted. The color is pinkish cinnamon when dry.

Flesh -- The flesh is moderately firm until mature, whereupon it becomes tender and melting. It is juicy, of fine texture, and slightly fibrous. The color is apricot yellow to light orange-yellow, showing slight marbling on the outer color immediately beneath the sink, and some tinge of peach red in the flesh surrounding the pit. The flavor is a rich subacid mingled with sweet, has a pleasing aroma and is of excellent quality.

(The colors are in accordance with Ridgway's Color Standard.)

The specifications herein set forth the general characteristics of the peach, yet it is understood they may vary slightly due to cultivation and environment.

What is claimed as new is:

The peachtree herein described characterized by the ripening period and color of the skin of its fruit, as shown.

In testimony whereof I affix my signature.

Executrix of Luther Burbank, Deceased.

Têton de Venus
(Venus' breast)

The phrase above was the nickname given to peaches during the reign of Louis XIV. There is no doubting that they are among the most sensual of fruits. Peaches, along with their closely related cousin, nectarines are one of the most tangible reminders of summer. There are few better treats in late summer than biting into a perfectly ripe peach and allowing the juice to run decadently down your chin.

The peach has a long and colourful history. The English word was derived from the French pêche, which in turn was taken from the Latin Persicum malum, or Persian apple. Alexander the great discovered peaches on his journeys through Persia and introduced them to the Greeks. Thus the start of this sublime fruit's international renown began.

However, the peach's history travels back much farther. The tree is native to China and mention of the fruit in Chinese literature dates back as far as 551 BC. The peach has long been highly revered in China, the tree as a symbol of life and the fruit as symbols of immortality and unity. To this day, Chinese brides often carry peach blossoms to their wedding.

There is a huge variety of peaches (over 160 are grown in Australia alone, with new hybrids emerging each year), though they are seldom sold by variety. What you will generally find for sale is either clingstone peaches, which obviously enough have a stone that adheres tightly to the flesh and freestone or slipstone peaches, whose stones separate easily and cleanly. Peaches are further divided by flesh colour, either yellow or white (with one rare variant, the French pêche de vigne, which posses a beguiling crimson flesh).

Most peach varieties have short seasons of ripeness, some lasting only a matter of days. Apart from flesh colour and the slip or cling nature of the stone, different varieties are distinguished by the time of year they ripen. A peach you bought at the greengrocer one week ago may well be a totally different variety to the one you buy today.

Clingstone peaches tend to be firmer and hold their shape better than freestones, making them more suitable as a cooking and preserving fruit. Freestones on the other hand, are a little softer and juicier, making them perfect as table fruit. They are also the right choice if you need clean peach halves for presentation. The reason clingstone pips adhere to the fruit is the same factor that makes them firmer than their freestone relatives. The pectic substances in the cell wall structure of freestone peaches become much more soluble during ripening than clingstones do. This not only ensures the stone slips away easily, but the flesh is softer and juicier once fully ripe. Unfortunately freestone peaches are becoming harder to find as growers move away from these varieties. Freestones do not store or travel as well and are becoming another victim of our pre-packaged convenience society.

The only way to tell a cling and freestone peach apart is to cut one open. If this option is not a viable one, you will have to seek advice from your greengrocer, the box they came in should be clearly labeled as to its type.

Peaches will not ripen, nor get any sweeter once they have been picked. They will simply get softer. Many people will have had the disappointing experience of biting into a dry, mealy peach. This is due not only to early harvesting, but also the unfortunate practice of keeping the fruit in cold storage for up to several weeks. This treatment retards the enzyme activity that would normally convert insoluble protopectins into soluble pectin; resulting in a sad culinary experience.

No matter what type of peach you are buying, there are a few simple rules for selecting a fabulous peach. First, wait until they are in season. Peaches are in season from December to April in the Southern hemisphere, and June to October in the North. Most of the varieties sold early and late in this period are hybridized purely to extend the season, and they rarely make good eating. When you visit your greengrocer, there is a failsafe guide to telling how good the peaches are. They are kind enough to exude a pungently sweet aroma when they are fully ripe. Have a deep smell of the peaches. If they have little or no aroma, they will most likely have been picked under-ripe, no matter how soft they are. Lastly, if you really want to get a great peach, take a drive out to a local orchard area. Speaking from personal experience, there are plenty of stone fruit growers around the Kurrajong region, roughly 1 hour's drive North-West of Sydney. Check to see if there are any growers in your local area.

These growers sell fruit picked straight from their own trees. The intoxicatingly sweet aroma literally hits you metres away from the stand. Because orchard fruit is usually only hours picked from the tree, they are the best option when searching for the perfect peach.

Peach is a character in Nintendo's popular Mario series. Apparently we are to assume that Princess Toadstool, is in fact this character, whose name first appeared in Super Mario 64 for the N64, and whose name persisted through the continuations of the Mario saga, as seen in Super Smash Bros. 2 (Melee).

On what premise may we surmise that Peach is in fact Princess Toadstool? In Melee, Peach wields a frying pan as one of her attacks. In Super Mario RPG for the SNES, after completing a series of sidequests, Princess Toadstool is able to attain her most powerful weapon, the frying pan. Thus, it is implied that they are the same person.

Throughout most of her video game career, Peach has played the stereotypical female role of, "Oh no! I got caught by the bad guy! Protagonist, oh protagonist, save me!!!" A clash with the norm appeared in Super Mario Bros. 2, when Peach was a playable character whose special technique was temporary hovering. In Super Mario Bros. 3, Peach was kidnapped by Bowser, the same in Super Mario World, the same in Super Mario 64. As mentioned before, Peach's first GameCube debut appears as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, using her loyal retainer Toad as a shield while beating people with her parasol and frying pan.

Note: The origin of the name Peach is the fact that in all of the Japanese versions of the Mario series, the Princess' name has been Peach! But this was not revealed to the American populous until much later in the series.

It’s summer again.

Every summer I glut myself on fresh fruit. Sure, most of them are available year round now that fruit gets shipped in in refrigerated canisters. It’s not the same. A local peach has rested on the tree longer, is generally an older hybrid and hasn’t had all the delicacy of its fruit bred out for cosmetic value and travel hardiness. They aren’t picked green and left to ripen in borrowed ethylene.

Nope. I’ve had fuzzy local peaches so sweet and plump that I’ve chased the juice running down my arm with my mouth, reluctant to lose a single drop. In the summer, I’ve been known to eat five peaches in a sitting, peeling them with my fingers and eating the skin, or pulling them in half with my hands and piling up the stones to keep count. I seriously adore peaches. They share favorite fruit space with cherries (and are oddly enough almost as good for innuendo).

It’s still a little early for the truly stunning local peaches to arrive in my local markets and farmers’ markets. Nonetheless, peaches from no further away than Georgia are starting to roll into the supermarket in large displays that fairly scream summer. More than ice cream, more than sunglasses and the beach, the fruit displays are the best gauge of the season.

I prefer to eat peaches when they are perfectly ripe and juicy, but once in a while their incredible sweet/tart flavor and fragrance begs for a place in something else. So, let me tell you about the cake I made the other day. It was two layers of white chocolate cake. The middle was filled with homemade peach jam, flavored with vanilla and almond. The cake was topped with a 1/8 inch thick round of almond paste, and the frosting was flavored with cognac and a little bit of apricot essence. It turned out very well. I had about a half cup of the jam left over, though. Over the last two days, I’ve had it on bread and over chocolate ice cream, and I’ve stirred it into yogurt. It’d probably be a lovely glaze for ham, but I really can’t imagine being able to keep it around long enough to be ham weather again.

So, basically this long windup is so I can give you a peach jam recipe. It’s not enough to can, although you could multiply. I added a bit of apricot essence to make it a little more assertive for the cake, but it doesn’t need it as a jam. And if the peaches had been really wonderful local peaches, I wouldn’t have added the essence anyway. The essence is thick, brown, fragrant and syrupy sweet/tart. It’s steam extracted from ripe fruit and generally only available in specialty stores. Don’t use anything made with alcohol, or for incidental candy making, it will only add an artificial flavor to your jam.

Peach Jam

Ingredients: Makes about 2 cups
4 cups peaches, peeled, with the stones removed, and chopped (about 5 large peaches)
about 1/4 c. sugar (more or less)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp almond extract (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
1/2-1 tsp apricot or peach essence (optional)

To peel the peaches, blanch the whole fruits in a large pot of boiling water for one minute, then fish them out and let them cool enough to handle. They should be easy to peel after this treatment, but sometimes peaches are reluctant to perform, at which point, you’ll need to help out with a paring knife. Once they are naked, remove the stones and chop them up.

Cook the peaches in a heavy bottomed saucepan at a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir more frequently if it appears to be sticking unduly, although a little caramelizing is to be expected. Cook until reduced by about half, and deep in color. Add the lemon juice and taste the mixture. If it’s too tart, add a little sugar, no more than 2 tbsp. Stir and cook for a little while and then taste again. It should still be tart, even assertively tart, but not unpleasantly so. Add more sugar if necessary to get it to your tastes, but keep in mind what you’ll be using it for. I kept mine a bit extra tart because I like it that way, but also as a foil for the very sweet cake and frosting. For eating with yogurt, most people would probably like it a bit sweeter.

Cook it down a bit more until it is very thick. No juices will pool at all when you stir it. Remove it from the heat and stir in any of the optional ingredients. I like the almond flavor to be strong, but that’s another personal preference. In lieu of any of these, you could add 1-2 tbsp of amaretto liqueur, brandy, or rum. Mix well and then immediately place in a jar, cover tightly and let cool.

Let it rest overnight at room temperature to permit the assorted optional ingredients to mellow. Then, slather it over your toast or swirl it into your yogurt, or hide in your room and eat it with a spoon.

Keep it refrigerated unless you can it. And once you open a jar, keep it refrigerated. It should stay good for several weeks, if you can keep your hands off of it.

Peach (?), v. t. [See Appeach, Impeach.]

To accuse of crime; to inform against.




© Webster 1913.

Peach, v. i.

To turn informer; to betray one's accomplice.

[Obs. or Colloq.]

If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Peach (?), n. [OE. peche, peshe, OF. pesche, F. peche, fr. LL. persia, L. Persicum (sc. malum) a Persian apple, a peach. Cf. Persian, and Parsee.] Bot.

A well-known high-flavored juicy fruit, containing one or two seeds in a hard almond-like endocarp or stone; also, the tree which bears it (Prunus, ∨ Amygdalus Persica). In the wild stock the fruit is hard and inedible.

Guinea, ∨ Sierra Leone, peach, the large edible berry of the Sarcocephalus esculentus, a rubiaceous climbing shrub of west tropical Africa. -- Palm peach, the fruit of a Venezuelan palm tree (Bactris speciosa). -- Peach color, the pale red color of the peach blossom. -- Peach-tree borer Zool., the larva of a clearwing moth (Aegeria, ∨ Sannina, exitiosa) of the family Aegeriidae, which is very destructive to peach trees by boring in the wood, usually near the ground; also, the moth itself. See Illust. under Borer.


© Webster 1913.

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