August 11, 2016 Sue Mowrer
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PEACHES: OUR PICK RIGHT NOW.

“Summer afternoons – Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”   William Blake.

We still have a few weeks of summer to enjoy before fall kicks in.  Why not take a moment to enjoy one of summer’s most perfect foods:  peaches, those fuzzy little globes of juicy sweetness.

Freshest is best, so visit a nearby roadside farm stand or farmer’s market if possible.

You’e probably heard the expression:  “peaches and cream complexion”.   Peaches are indeed  good for your skin!  They’re a source of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin texture and help to fight sun damage caused by sun and pollution.  Vitamin C also helps in forming collagen, the skin’s support system.

Of courses, peaches are delicious right out of your hand, but consider using them in other ways while they’re still fresh.

Today we made the most of ripe peaches and heirloom tomatoes together in a salad, with chunks of fresh mozzarella, some torn basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar & olive oil.  (It’s worth splurging on really good vinegar and oil).

Tips for peach shopping:

Color.  To select the sweetest peaches,  look at the peach’s base color. The peach’s lightest color, regardless of shade (cream, yellow, orange, etc.), should be a warm hue. The best peaches will have no green undertones.  Red peaches don’t necessarily mean ripeness.

Skin Texture.  Here’s a case where wrinkles are good.  Shriveled flesh around the stems mean that water is leaving the fruit, giving the best most intense flavor.

Examine the area around the stem, as it indicates ripeness when picked: the stem cavity should be wide and open rather than narrow and restricted.

Touch.  A little bit of give means the peach is almost ripe, but not quite.  It will continue to ripen for 2-3 days.  Store peaches on a counter away from direct sunlight.  If you want to hurry up the ripening process, put peaches in a paper bag.

Enjoy your summer days ahead!

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