Peaches. I’m remembering how much I love peaches.
When I was a kid, one thing I loved was sliced fresh peaches tossed with a little sugar, served over chocolate ice cream. My Mom doesn’t remember giving us that particular combination, but I do. I don’t think I’ve had it for several decades, but the memory is still there. The sweet, slippery fruit had enough of a bite to contrast with the softening ice cream. Why chocolate?I have no idea. But the fond memories are still there.
My next memory of peaches comes from a family trip we took to Florida one summer. Our tour bus stopped in Georgia at a fruit stand, and we all got out to buy the local fruit. It was amazing. Truly amazing. Like the amazing-ness of the pineapple you can only have in Hawai’i. And lobsters in Maine. The peaches were big and fuzzy and full of flavor, sweet tender texture between the teeth and juice dripping down your chin goodness. I think that was the first time I really discovered what seasonal and local and terroir were all about.
Fast forward to Maryland, home of one of my favorite markets.
The Takoma Park Farmers Market set up every Sunday and was one of the first ‘producer only’ markets in the country. About this time during the summer, they had peaches for sale. Big, fuzzy, fragrant peaches you could smell before you even got to the market. And the line at that stand was always so long I often worried that they would sell out before I got to the table. But they had crates of them stacked up in the back of their big truck. They were amazing.
I have since moved back to Indiana, and I’m enjoying once again all of the wonderful fruits produced here in the Northern part of the state, and in Southern Michigan along the fruit belt. This year, peaches have found their way back into my heart. Fuzzy, ripe, fragrant, juicy fruits that pull easily away from the pits. And they are perfect this season. Juicy and just barely firm, with a full range of flavor.
I haven’t paired them with the chocolate ice cream yet. Maybe I’m afraid they’ll taste different than I remember. But who knows…maybe they’ll taste even better.