What signals the arrival of summer more than a fresh, juicy peach? For some people, summer starts after Memorial Day or when school gets out. For me personally, summer starts when peaches start showing up at the farmer's markets.
We saw them a few weeks ago in Napa, and now they've come to San Francisco. Mmm, fresh peaches! Peaches are one of our favorite fruits. Sweet and tender, they're full of vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid. They can be eaten raw, served with ice cream, cooked in wine or spices, canned, and so much more. They can be added to salsas and mashed up into baby food.
If you buy peaches that aren't ripe yet, don't worry. Simply place them in a paper bag for a few days, and the ethanol gases that the fruit releases will speed up the ripening process, and you'll have a ready-to-eat peach in no time.
Peaches originated in Asia and made their way to Persia and Europe via the Silk Road. Peaches are second to apples in commercial fruit production in the United States.
Northern California Farmer's Market Report: Downtown Napa
Seasonal Spotlight: Cherries!
Recipe: Chunky Peach Pancake Topping
(Image: Kathryn Hill)