August is National Peach Month

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroepeaches

Well it looks like the dog days of summer have set upon us. Goodbye rainy cold June, and hello suffocating humidity of July and August. I’d rather have it hot I must say. Without this good heat, most summer crops would not be of as high a quality. August is National Peach Month. I don’t know if I can think of any other fruit that is as delicious as a perfectly ripe peach, bursting with juice that runs down your chin….yum!

The peach is a deciduous tree, native to North-West China, where it was first domesticated and cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach. The species name persica refers to its widespread cultivation in Persia. Peaches and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. Nectarines have an orange center and faint fuzz, while peaches have white centers and very fuzzy skin. Important historical peach-producing areas are China, Iran, Mediterranean countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Greece, and more recently, the United States (where the three largest producing states are California, South Carolina, and Georgia).

In the early 17th century George Minifie, a horticulturist from England, brought the first peaches to the New World colonies, planting them at his estate in Virginia. It was our early American Indian tribes who actually spread the peach tree across our country, taking seeds with them and planting them as they traveled these United States. Georgia is known as the “Peach State” because of the production of its peaches.

In Korea, peaches have been cultivated from ancient times. According to history, peach trees were planted during the Three Kingdoms of Korea period. The peach is seen as the fruit of happiness, riches, honors and longevity. It is one of the ten immortal plants and animals, so peaches appear in many folk paintings. Peaches and peach trees are believed to chase away spirits, so peaches are not placed on tables for jesa (ancestor veneration), unlike other fruits.

medilodge of monroe

Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Adult Only Fresh Peach Gelées

Ingredients:

• 1 cup Asti Spumante

• 1/2 cup Vodka

• 1/4 cup Peach Puree

• 1 (3-oz.) package peach-flavored gelatin

• 1 (1-oz.) package unflavored gelatin

• 1 cup boiling water

• Garnish: fresh peach slices

Preparation:

1. Stir together wine, vodka, and Peach Puree in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish; sprinkle gelatins over wine mixture. Let stand 1 minute.

2. Stir 1 cup boiling water into wine mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Cover and chill 8 hours or until set.

3. Cut gelatin into 64 (1-inch) cubes. Garnish, if desired.

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MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

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