Friday, August 6, 2010

Of Epic Battles

Really, peaches people? I know there are a lot of you out there. Why within my own family both devoted partner and internets-savvy mom are partisans for the P-Party! I know matters of taste are exactly that, but I have to say, even after all this time and a fair bit of effort, I just don't get it.

Nectarines are WAY better than peaches!

I'm not even sure I feel it's a fair fight. Yes, in a vacuum, peaches are wonderful: sweet, summery, sweet, juicy, sweet. If there were no such thing as nectarines and peaches had only the plain black plum to fight in the stone fruit wars, then yes, viva peaches! But peaches DO have stone fruit competition: the apricot, the greengage plum (now in the market and many times this morning in my mouth and bag), not to mention the weird ones like the plumcot or the apricine or whatever Californians are doing to mate their fruits with one another today. Peaches, to my tastebuds, don't stand a chance.

And nowhere was that clearer than in last night's fruit salad (side note: gentlemen, why does fruit not seem like food when it's in the refrigerator in its whole form, but once sliced immediately becomes food?). When sliced and placed next to the nectarine, the peach's one-hit wonder of taste (sweet) was so achingly, painfully obvious, whereas the nectarine, which is sweet with a divine tangy bite, shone. Notice, if you will, that fruit juice companies frequently pair the peach with another fruit, mango or orange. Could it be that the frail peach is just too simple to stand alone and needs some acid from a friend?

And poor devoted partner, he'd eat peaches every day (provided said peaches were cut for him, see above), whereas I have, throughout the years, made him exactly zero peach pies and countless nectarine mascarpone cheesecakes (Amy, can I bring one next weekend?). In my market bag right now are four peaches: two yellow, two white so that I can make more fruit salad and we can bring it to the beach, but the peaches were purchased with a heavy heart: can a relationship survive this most fundamental of differences?

Perhaps we are saved by climate. The peach vs. nectarine wars are ephemeral, lasting a mere 6 weeks each summer, after which time peace reigns in a household that prefers tart apples to sweet ones.


  1. Please bring whatever delightful desserts you want! Yum. For me, re: The Debate, sometimes I'm just not in the mood for fuzz.

  2. Central Texas has the most incredibly intense and delicious peaches, against which a nectarine has no hope. We're eating swoon-worthy peaches this summer. When ripe, they slide right out of their fur jackets (no fuzz problem).
    California peaches are tasteless. Every year, no matter what.

  3. I shall, theoretically, believe that the peaches of central Texas are lovely - and I look forward to one day sampling them. But I remain skeptical; Jersey peaches have a certain reputation, and these aren't tasteless, they're just sweet and sweet alone, making me find them kinda boring.