Ode to the Peach

by Marcella Hazan on September 26, 2010

I had difficulty identifying a fruit in a recent photo that looked eerily unripe. The Friend posting it wrote that it was a peach, sweet and ripe, not a soft mushy mess. I grew up in an area that was famous in Italy for its peaches, when I was young I was able to pick them off from the tree when they were very ripe and I loved to eat one with its sugary juice dribbling down my chin. There is nothing edible from the earth, the sea, or the sky that tastes so wonderful to me as a fully ripe, soft, sweet, and yes, messy fruit. Unfortunately they are no longer to be found in a store’s fruit bin. Deborah Madison recently lamented the situation, and explained that young people today think that ripe, soft, sugary fruit is yucky and messy. What a pity!

We do have donut peaches here in the States, and if you are lucky enough to get a really ripe one, it is exquisite. One needn’t agonize over whether a perfect peach or a perfect fig is the most desirable. It’s an impossible choice to make, but fortunately they are each at their peak at different times.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Jamie September 27, 2010 at 3:37 am

We have been buying and eating the first real, juicy, sweet, perfect peaches that we have found in years! For so long, the peaches sold at our markets in France have been mealy, flavorless things certainly not worthy the name “peach”. Yet this year we have had the magic of gorgeous, perfect peaches whose sweet juice does indeed run down our chins and arms as we eat them. I have been buying four or five almost every day, eating them and running back for more. While they last. Pure pleasure! Why after so many years of simply horrid, disappointing fruit? I’ll never know. But I’ll pray that we find the same next summer.

Previous post:

Next post: