What is Peach?
One of the greatest things about summer apart from long sunny days and the beach is the emergence of stone fruit!
Peaches are a deciduous tree that is native to China, specifically to the northern slopes of the Kunlun Mountains. It is the fruit tree of the rose family, and they grow best in warmer climates, both in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Each peach contains a hard stone or pit in its core. There are 2 types of peaches, and the stone determines it. The peaches can be a clingstone or freestone.
A clingstone peach refers to peaches where the flesh stubbornly attaches itself to the stone whereas a freestone peach is the opposite.
The flesh separates easily from the stone, and you’ll find the stone to be clean. Bet you’ve eaten both types but never knew the clingstone and freestone terminology. I always thought it was the luck of the draw!
Another interesting comparison you can make with peaches is whether they are melting or non-melting peaches.
Melting peaches at maturity becomes overly soft and quite fibrous. These are the peaches that don’t hold their shape very well, and if you try to cut them, they tend to squish and fall apart.
Non-melting peaches as you can guess is the opposite. They manage to stay firm during maturity.
From a health perspective, peaches have many nutritional benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, a great source of dietary fibre, rich in vitamin A and C and good for the heart too due to its bioactive compounds.
What Does Peach Taste Like?
Flavour: You would have no doubt realised that there are 2 types of peaches: the white or the yellow.
The white peaches are sweet with very little tartness while the yellow peaches while sweet, also have a bit of acidity. Peaches are known to have a classic peach flavour with floral notes.
Texture: The exterior of the peach is a thin, fuzzy skin. I’m not sure if you knew this, but a peach with a smooth skin is a nectarine.
The colour of the skin ranges from white to blush pink to sometimes red. But the colours tend to be in an ombre style as it varies from light to dark, depending on which peach you’re looking at.
The same goes for the flesh in terms of colour. It can be white, yellow or a light pink/red.
The texture of the peach changes as it ripens. The flesh can be hard right through to being too soft but definitely juicy.
In my family, I like mine firm while my daughter likes them super soft, so I do have to select different varieties when grocery shopping. Which do you prefer?
What Goes Well with Peach?
Fruit and Vegetables
Apricot, blackberry, blueberry, celery, cherry, corn, elderberry, endive, fennel, fig, ginger, grape, honeydew, kale, kiwi, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mulberry, nectarine, plum, rambutan, raspberry, rocket, strawberry, tomato, zucchini.
Herbs, Nuts and Spices
Allspice, almond, basil, cinnamon, cloves, hazelnut, lemon thyme, macadamia nuts, mint, nutmeg, pecan, pistachio, rosemary, sumac, tarragon, thyme, walnut.
Protein and Other
Bulgur, butter, chicken, chickpea, couscous, duck, freekeh, honey, lamb, lentil, palm sugar, pesto, pork, prosciutto, rose water, vanilla.
How to Use Peach in Salads?
The best way to have peaches in a salad is of course in its natural form. They are better on the firmer side so that it holds its shape and doesn’t turn to mush when tossed.
You can cut them into wedges, slices or even matchsticks.
Peaches can also be poached or baked. Serving warm peaches in a savoury salad would be such an interesting and different way to add something unusual to the mix.
We make a lot of sweet fruit salads too so cooked peaches would do well in those types of recipes.
You can use peaches in your salad dressings too as we did in our Peach Chutney Dressing. You can puree, boil or blitz the peaches in with some vinegar and olive oil to create a nice consistency.
Salad Recipes with Peach
Vegan Cherry Tomato Salad with Peach Chutney Dressing
All the aromatic spices in this easy homemade peach chutney will transform this simple Vegan Cherry Tomato Salad into a centrepiece of colour and flavour!
Stone Fruit Salad with Tapioca Pearls
This sweet Stone Fruit Salad served with tapioca pearls and a drizzle of homemade orange syrup is such a fun way to end an evening of entertaining. Let your guests help themselves as they build their own little bowl of perfection.
More Ingredient Pairings
Here are more ingredient pairing ideas for your next salad creation!
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