HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
Peaches are believed to have originated in China as far back as from 6000BC.They belong to the genus Prunus, which includes the cherry, apricot, almond, and plum, in the rose family.
Peaches and nectarines are the same species, though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. (The skin of nectarines just lack the fuzz!)
The scientific name Prumus persica, is derived from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia (modern-day Iran) and literally means "Persian plum", as it is closely related to the plum.
General Trivia About Peaches
The fruit is considered a symbol of longevity and good luck. This is particularly symbolic in China, the only country where peaches grow wild. They are the fruit of calmness. Peach aromas have demonstrated analgesic effects such as reducing the feelings of pain, lifting depression, and reducing anxiety.
Nectarines are just peaches without the fuzz. The peach, Prunus persica (translates to Persian plum). The nectarine, Prunus persica var. nucipersica (meaning smoothed skin Persian plum aka peach). The colour of a peach is indicative of the variety, not the ripeness. A ripe peach is firm with a slight give to its flesh. You will also notice a strong sweet aroma when a peach is ready to be eaten.
There are three main categories of peaches: freestone, semi-freestone, and clingstone. All contain the same nutritive value. Clingstones are soft in texture and have flesh that clings tightly to the pit. They are soft in texture, very juicy and excellent for baking and jams. Free-stones make it easier to separate the flesh from the pit. These are great out-of-hand snacking but are not quite as juicy as the clingstones. Semi-freestones are the goldilocks between the two. These are the first peaches on the summer market.
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