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Articles - Gourmet Pleasures:

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Cooking with peaches and other stone fruit

Late summer is high season for peaches, nectarines and apricots. They taste delicious on their own, but are also wonderful in desserts like fruit salads and sorbets and in jams. Try delicious desserts like peaches stewed with bay leaves and mint or nectarine tart with vanilla cream.

When the weather is hot, peach buttermilk is delightfully refreshing. The peaches are covered in boiling water, skinned and sliced, then pureed with buttermilk, honey and chopped basil leaves. Add a few drops of lime juice to sharpen the flavour and serve in chilled glasses. Slices of fruit add an exotic note to savoury dishes. For example, stewed apricots spiced with curry and chilli pepper harmonise deliciously with grilled meat. Stone fruits are also perfect additions to curries, stews, chicken salads and even spicy soups.

Origin, appearance and health bonus

Apricots, peaches and nectarines belong to the same family and genus: Rosaceae Prunus. Peaches have a soft, slightly fluffy skin and, because of their high water content, they bruise very easily. And have you tried doughnut peaches that grow on steep hillsides among the vineyards? The flat shape gives the doughnut peach its name. It’s also sometimes called a Saturn peach because the shape reminded someone of the rings of Saturn. Nectarines have smooth skin and firmer flesh than peaches. The water content is lower and the sugar content higher. Some types of nectarine taste sweet like peaches, others can taste slightly acidic and savoury. Apricots have a soft. Velvety skin and they contain lots of beta carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. This vitamin is important for healthy skin, for your eyes and for cell growth. Apricots and nectarines contain a lot of potassium – a large nectarine supplies over a quarter of your daily potassium requirement.

Buying and quality

Be sure to check the quality of the fruit before you buy it. Ripe peaches, nectarines and apricots are exceptionally rich in vitamins and minerals. Your nose is a goof guide to ripeness, fully ripe fruits small really good. You can store peaches for a couple of days in the fridge. 

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de