August is national peach month and since I live in the peach state of Georgia I’m sharing my cobbler recipe with you.
Georgia is definitely recognized as the peach state. The fruit is on the state quarter and license plates, a giant peach is dropped from a downtown building to ring in the new year and there are over 71 streets in Atlanta with the name Peachtree.
So while Georgia can claim to have to the most objects named for the beloved fruit the state is far behind South Carolina in production. Referred to as the “Tastier Peach State” the primary peach growing area in South Carolina is known as “The Ridge” which covers south central counties of Aiken, Edgefield, Lexington, and Saluda. The Ridge gets its name from the sloping hills in the area. Cold air seeks the lowest point, and the Ridge provides good drainage for air which seeps into the valleys on either side. Watsonia Farms is located in this area and grows organic yellow and white flesh peaches. I was able to pick up some of their organic yellow peaches for this peach cobbler recipe.
All you need to know about peaches
2008 U.S. Department of Agriculture tests show that more than 50 pesticide compounds showed up on domestic and imported peaches headed for U.S. stores. Five of the compounds exceeded the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and six of the pesticide compounds present are not approved for use on peaches in the United States.
According to The Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list it’s best to buy peaches organic.
There are over 300 varieties of peaches grown in North America but you can narrow them down to the following:
Yellow Flesh Peaches
The most common commercial variety found and a higher level of acidity than white flesh peaches.
White Flesh Peaches
Common in Asia but quickly gaining a following in the US. White flesh peaches are very sweet with low acidity.
Clingstone, Freestone, Semi-Freestone:
These 3 names refer to how the pit (aka stone) holds on to the flesh of the peach. As the name applies clingstone peaches “cling” to the pit and are softer and sweeter than other varieties which makes them perfect for canning and preserving. Freestone peaches are easy to eat by hand since the pit pulls away from the flesh and are the dominant variety in grocery stores. Semi-freestone are a hybrid of the two which combines the sweetness of clingstones with the ease of pitting of freestones.
The Peachoid. A water tower designed after the beloved fruit in Gaffney, SC. Also had a cameo appearance on Neflix’s House of Cards.
Photo Credit Andy McMillan for The New York Times
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