Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ode to a Peach

(Revisiting a 2005 post I made to Journalspace, because my brain is taking the weekend off!)
It's that time -- roadside stands tempt -- baskets overflowing with blushing local peaches catch my eye as I drive by. A far cry from the grocery store's pithy, pathetic California peaches, prematurely plucked from their natal boughs, these peaches were nurtured to full peachhood. They are the peaches poets write about, singers sing about, painters portray. When I'm feeling just peachy, these are the peaches I emulate.

The peach (Prunus persica to you taxonomists) is perhaps the most carnal of fruits, but I don't need to tell you that. You've already noticed how familiar the soft, fuzzy skin feels, compared its almost anatomical cleft to corporeal counterparts. In fact it is difficult, if not impossible, to describe a peach without resorting to language that violates numerous sections of the Hays Code. And to relate the act of eating one, well.... I blush like a peach just thinking about it.

Eating a peach involves all the senses. Whether your personal aesthetic is prurient or puritanical, you will recognize the honeyed aroma of a ripe peach, and your eyes appreciate its sunset-hued peachidermis. Feel the nap covering its circumference. Hear the embarrassingly necessary slurping and sucking sounds that accompany the enjoyment of a really ripe peach. Taste the just-barely-acid nectar of the fruit that spreads across your tongue like liquid velvet syrup. Do you really believe Eve tempted Adam with a mere MacIntosh? No, it had to have been a peach.

Once the pulp is eaten and any juicy evidence disposed of by the means of your choosing, there remains the peach pit. This crenellated vessel of future generations of peaches deserves further comtemplation. If you're not going to cultivate your own orchard, you may consider the intricate art of peach pit carving. This is recommended over more sinister applications for the stone's interior seed, which contains cyanogenic compounds -- although presumably it would take a peck of peach pits to do actual harm.

Peaches, like life, deliver the bitter and the sweet. Buy peaches ripe, store them at room temperature. If you must refrigerate them, let them warm before eating to enjoy the full spectrum of sweet juciness. Or is that juicy sweetness? Either way, the season is all too short.

(For further reading on the enjoyment of fruits, forbidden and otherwise, I direct you to Christina Rosetti's poem "Goblin Market". Evidence that not all Victorians were so -- Victorian.)


  1. Obviously I'm a peach lover and believe that of course that is what tempted Adam....

  2. Intell...I am (S)peachless. I visit for intellectual stimulation and I get...visions of suppressed, succulent, fleshy fruit...wantonly flaunted before my eyes.

    You need to get back to work. I need a cold shower.

  3. Juicy post,

    "Men sell not such in any town" Goblin Market one of my favorites. My reason for living chose Rossetti for her Masters thesis.

  4. Dang. If I had read this before I went to the store...

  5. Peach Tart: Of course!

    Jaded, sometimes I'm the intell, sometimes I'm the wench.

    Barnesm - Glad you enjoyed.

    Doug, I imagine your peach season runs a bit later than ours - there's still time!

  6. ahhh come on plesse let me eat the peach.
    please, I don't care where it came from?
    Please let me eat it, even if it is from Georgia.

  7. Jaded - in between "intell" and "wench" or in between "punch" and "peach"?

    Punch, please indulge your penchant for peaches at your own peril.

  8. Hmmmm, Peach and Punch (that has a nice ring, doesn't), are on their own.

    I was referring to the gray area of intellblankwench...who is neither nor...or rather, what I meant was, I thought it sounded "peachy" keen to ask that. Alas, I am no match for the intell side.

  9. jadedj... one thing i have learned in life: When you find youself in a hole stop digging. Me I'm gonna have another peach.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


And you thought...