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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Bursting with natural juicy sweetness and an unmistakable perfume, rosy-skinned peaches
may bring back memories for you. Maybe you recall picking peaches at the orchard,
visiting the farmers market or a roadside stand, or plucking the fruit from a neighbor’s
tree. For me, the memory of my grandmother and her flaky homemade peach cobbler, bubbling
hot from the oven brings back sweet memories and has my taste buds singing.
Peaches are filling baskets at farmers markets, roadside stands, and produce counters
at supermarkets, just waiting on you. For the best peaches, select those that are
slightly soft to firm and free from bruises. Avoid green-colored peaches, they are
unripe and will not become sweeter as the color changes.
Ripe peaches will have a creamy or golden undertone. The amount of rosy “blush”on
the surface is characteristic of the variety, not ripeness. It is important to remember,
peaches bruise easily, so handle them carefully. To test for ripeness, press fruit
gently between your finger and thumb. The fruit should feel firm, but have a little
Peaches that are very firm may be stored on the kitchen counter for 2 to 4 days to
finish ripening. Once ripe, refrigerate and eat within 3 to 4 days. Ripe peaches should
be refrigerated in a single layer to prevent bruising and spoilage.
Once you have found your perfect peach, simply wash and bite into it. Fresh, high
quality peaches are low in calories, only about 53 calories for medium-size, despite
their sweet taste. Fruits are an important source of fiber and many nutrients. Although
the actual amount of nutrients may seem small, their contribution is significant if
2 to 3 servings of fruit are eaten daily.
If you want a quick way to peel peaches, for a cobbler or pie, dip the peach in boiling
water for 20 to 30 seconds. Immediately dip into cold water and the skin will slip
right off. Riper peaches need less scalding time to loosen peels.
When peeling peaches for a recipe, remember they brown rapidly when exposed to air.
To prevent this, soak halves or slices for 5 minutes in 1 quart of water with 3 tablespoons
lemon juice and 2 crushed 500 milligram vitamin C tablets or a commercial ascorbic
acid you can buy over the counter.
You can get your locally grown peaches at the Gateway Farmers Market on corner of
Broad and East 9th in Texarkana AR. They are open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7 until sold out.
The old saying, “the early bird gets the worm” applies to peaches at the market.
Once you get your peaches, make my grandmothers peach cobbler recipe. There are no
shortcuts here but the delicious result is worth every minute. I am sharing her recipe
with you again.
Click here for your copy of Arkansas Fresh Peaches, or contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or visit us in room
215 at the Miller County Courthouse. Click to learn how to Preserve Peaches
By Carla DueMiller County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 email@example.com