When I’m sitting at my computer, writing these stories, sometimes my fingers have a tendency to trip over themselves and the result is a minor typo – every once in a while of course. But each and every time my amazingly accurate editor spots them and immediately makes the necessary corrections. What would we do without our editors!
But there was one time when a little typo escaped both our attention. It was a few years ago when I was writing about the delicious peaches in Niagara. In the story I wrote, “Peaches are considered a Chinese symbol of immorality and friendship and we are very lucky to be showered with plenty of them. Enjoy them while you can.”
Well, the truth is that peaches are not considered a Chinese symbol of immorality, but a Chinese symbol of immortality! That little slip of the finger changed the entire meaning – well, I think you get the picture. In fact some of you actually picked up on it and wrote to me. I wondered why more people didn’t react, but what I discovered was that Niagara fruit producers were happily announcing an unexplainable rise in peach sales!
In many research documents, I found a young woman’s flawless complexion compared to the velvety down and blush of a peach. The fruits plump curvaceous shape has been likened to a voluptuous breast. The French have named a variety of peach Tetons de Venus, meaning the breasts of Venus. Even Renoir advised his young artist students to practice painting a peach before painting a nude woman. In fact, few pleasures of the palate can be compared to biting into perfectly ripened peach flesh and feeling the juice trickle down your chin.
Peaches are sexy! Perhaps not a symbol of immorality, but sexy yes! Right now is peach season and you can find these sexy little devils in produce sections of your neighbourhood grocery stores, farm markets and on roadside stands throughout the region.
Peaches don’t ripen off the tree so they should be firm or slightly soft if you’re going to eat them immediately. If you come away with a few hard peaches in your basket, you can always cook with them.
The most simple and decadent way to enjoy a peach at the table is to slice the fruit and add it to a glass of chilled white wine. A more sophisticated version of this drink is the Bellini. Created in Venice, it’s made with one part peach juice and three parts prosecco.
Peaches make for a simple dessert eaten right out of hand, but if your into a more complicated treat, Peach Melba is as good as it gets. Created for the Australian soprano Nelie Malba, the beauty of this dish is the delicious combination of peaches and raspberries.
In searching the history of the peach I found a very old Italian proverb that I will leave you with today, “Peel a fig for a friend and a peach for an enemy”. What do you think that means?
5 ripe, firm peaches, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ cup (60 mL) red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup (60 mL) fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon (15 mL) icewine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) verjus
1 teaspoon (5 mL) honey
Combine the peaches, peppers, onions, cilantro and jalapeno pepper in a bowl. Whisk together vinegar, verjus and honey and pour over salsa. Cover and refrigerate.