Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Why Peaches Wear Flannel

To enchant me all you have to do is stake a hand-lettered sign across from the Cynthiana, Indiana, gas station saying "Peaches," with an arrow pointing down the two-lane road. There I found a family peach stand, with neighbors and friends there too because it was the morning of their first day at the stand and there was coffee and everybody had something to say, just like home. Irresistibly the peaches came in cardboard carry baskets with balsa wood handles. I asked a girl child the price. She told me "Seven dollars." I asked if she grew the peaches herself and she said, "Our orchard's over there," and pointed, and sure enough, across the road  were rows of short-ish peach tree loaded with glamorous fat fruits that I shamelessly eat over the kitchen sink while juice runs down my face and arms.

Technically, peachfuzz is armor. The fuzz repels insects who'd otherwise bore into and suck on the fruit. The fuzz also traps moisture from the air. Peaches don't grow well in the rocky soil in our own hilly area, so we usually go eastward to orchards in Illinois; I just happened to be in Indiana. But I like buying direct and driving home with ripe sun-warmed peaches scenting the car. I have also heard that one should really peel peaches because of possible pesticides, so I peel about every other peach although I'm too enchanted by peach-flannel to give it up entirely. How do you like yours? With fuzz or without (meaning nectarines)?

1 comment:

Paul said...

I can remember buying buckets of peaches while waiting for the Golden Eagle Ferry to cross from Illinois to St. Charles, Mo. That vendor had a captive market. And those peaches were good. Still, I prefer nectarines for the lack of fuzz, and because I like the slight tang taste.