Persica vulgaris / Prunis persica
Italian: Pesche di Romagna
Origin: Though its Latin name suggests Persia, the peach is originally from China, or more exactly from the border regions of Tonkin and Burma.
The peach is a fleshy fruit containing an oval, woody pit 3 cm long: it is therefore a stone fruit. Its skin is fuzzy, unlike the nectarine, which has a smooth skin.
This sensual fruit, bedecked in its velvet coat, luscious and juicy, was once known by names that were more evocative of brothels than of fruit: Belle de Chevreuse, Téton de Vénus (Breast of Venus), Grosse Mignonne (Big Darling), Pucelle de Malines (Virgin of Malines), etc. If you are an opera fan, you might be interested to learn that the famous chef Escoffier was once so moved by Nellie Melba's performance in Wagner's Lohengrin that he took up his pans and ice cream maker to create a dessert, both simple and elegant, in honour of the Australian soprano.
Did you know?
Georgia grown peaches are recognized for their superior flavor, texture, appearance and nutritious qualities and is now known as the "Peach State" because of the growers' reputation for producing the highest quality fruit. The peach became the official state fruit in 1995.
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