Peaches, Nectar of the Gods

Aug 22

I love peaches. Not the one’s you get in the grocery store. The peaches you buy at a roadside farm stand or at the farmer’s market. If you leave in Colorado, its a Western slope/Palisade peach that’s the one I am talking about. If you leave in Georgia or South Carolina, I imagine they are similar. I was riding home the other night when this story came on the radio on NPR. This guy has the best job in the world tasting peaches! Just listen to him talk about it. He rolls on the ground in joy over some of these peaches. Links are working but paste this in your browser and see how much this guy loves peaches!

Well that’s pretty much the way I feel when its peach season in Colorado. We go through about a box a week. The kids will eat a half dozen or more a day. This season they are perfect, juicy, sweet and just ripe with no tartness from being picked to soon. I think the weather was better this year and I haven’t seen many split pits. Most of the peaches that arrive at the grocery store have been picked green. As a result they don’t develop that wonderful peach scent, the juicy texture or the sweet flavor. Apparently its pretty difficult to get a peach to market without picking it to soon.

One of my favorite books is “Four Seasons in Five Senses” by David Mas Masumoto. He’s a peach farmer in California. Its a wonderful book about the magnificent peach and all that goes in to growing them. In reading his descriptions of the farm, the trees, the peaches, the scents, the flavors I can immediately feel, smell and taste what he is writing about. He has several books including “Wisdom of the Last Farmer” and “Epitaph for a Peach”. If you love peaches and beautiful words that can make your mouth water pick up one of his books and read it.

Last year I made peach chutney from the food network and tried to make peach jam. Well I guess jam is a little bit harder to get right than I thought. If you over cook it, which I did, it will basically turn to rock in your jelly jars. Its not very spreadable in that consistency. I am going to try again this weekend. I have 2 boxes of peaches arriving on Friday from the high school fund raiser. I think I should invite someone who knows what they are doing to come teach me.

You know the best things in life aren’t learned from a book. They are experienced. Its much easier to learn how to make something if you are cooking with a friend who has done it before. Same goes for learning how to grow things, fix things, run things etc. Find somebody who knows and ask them to share their knowledge. And maybe a nice juicy peach or two while they are at it.

Food Network – Peach Chutney Recipe:


1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 shallots finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, blanched and diced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Salt and pepper


Melt butter, add garlic, shallot and jalapeno and sweat for 1 to 2 minutes, add diced peaches. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, add sugar, deglaze with brandy and vinegar and allow to cook on low heat until peaches are soft. Season with salt and pepper.
* Restaurant Recipe

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. Food Network Kitchens have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.

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