Thursday, September 13, 2012

Peaches are amazing.

And delicious.

Before moving to Colorado, I assumed that all good peaches came from Georgia (or other warm, moist states). Not so. Native Americans had peach orchards in the very dry Canyon de Chelly (before Kit Carson and the Army devastated the Navajo farms in 1863). And even during our drought, Colorado has wonderful peaches. Actually, they apparently grow almost everywhere (thank goodness).

Like almost everything, it seems, they originally came from China. They first appeared there around 2000 BCE. Peaches migrated along trade routes into Turkey and Iran then, later, North Africa and Europe. They were introduced to America in the mid 1500s. French explorers established them along the Gulf coastal region near Mobile, Alabama, and the Spaniards planted them in Saint Augustine, Florida, and along the Atlantic seaboard. Then the Indians took over and they are all over our country.

Most Colorado peaches grow on our western slopes and are then trucked to farm stands and grocery stores all over the state.  We have easy access to the golden, fuzzy orbs. What a delight. They, like all things really, should be savored in season. Find them. Have the good sense to buy them. Wash them, peel them, slice them and enjoy.

 You may, if you wish, fuss with them, cook with them, even can them. But save one at least to just eat – standing at the sink or sitting on the porch.

Let the juices of summer slide into your being. And be glad.

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