When I walked into Safeway on Sunday afternoon I was greeted by a huge display of fresh peaches! How appropriate for the first day of August, after all, August is “National Peach Month.”
Peaches are native to China and they have been cultivated for more that a thousand years. Peaches are called stone fruits, which means that they have a fairly large pit or seed. Their skin is velvety and fuzzy. Oddly enough, these fruits are part of the rose family.
There are over 700 varieties of peaches and there are two types, freestone and cling. The seed of a freestone peach comes away from the flesh very easily, the flesh of a cling peach attaches to the seed and has to be cut away.
Here are some fun facts about peaches:
- In China peaches are thought to bring good luck, wealth, and protection.
- Peaches are high in vitamins A, B and C and a large one has less than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber.
- The world’s largest peach is in Gaffney, South Carolina. It weighs over 10,000 pounds. It’s the town’s water tower built in the shape of a peach in 1981.
- In 1982 President Ronald Regan declared August as National Peach Month.
- August 22nd is Eat a Peach Day and August 24th is National Peach Pie Day.
- The juice from peaches makes a great moisturizer and is found in many cosmetics.
- The World’s Largest Peach Cobbler measuring 11 feet by 5 feet is made every year in Georgia, which is known as the Peach State.
There are several peach orchards in Arizona where you can pick peaches. Peach orchards can be found in Phoenix, Queen Creek, Wilcox, Hereford, and even close to Wickenburg. Feneway Park Orchards is in Morristown. The variety of peach grown there is an early peach that is ripe in May. Date Creek Ranch is north of Wickenburg and their peaches are ripe in July.
So, grab a few peaches and toss them into a fruit smoothie or slice them into your bowl of oatmeal. You’ll get a tasty treat with a burst of nutrients. Enjoy.
Debra Loder, RDN
Dietary Manager, WCH