I bet you've eaten canned peaches from the store. Sweet, syrupy, and kinda crisp. But also a bit bland? All sugar and no flavor?
But maybe you've had home canned peaches. Sweet, syrupy, and with a bit of peach flavor. Maybe even a slight tang left to prove they're really a fruit?
And if you're really lucky, you've had home canned peaches made from peaches right off the tree at a local farm. Sweet, yes. Syrupy, yes. crisp... no. Succulent! Flavourful! Melts-in-your-mouth-summertime-in-a jar.
Ah.. but it's currently summer... so why am I rhapsodizing about canned peaches? There's a little peach tree in the corner of my grandmother's garden at the ranch. It's a volunteer that grew from a pit in the compost about ten years ago. It doesn't get irrigated like the rest of the orchard. And every year, it gets peach leaf curl in the spring and all its leaves fall off. And every year it has one or two small, green peaches that become small yellow fruit with reasonable flavour but not really anything we're going to sell.
Well yesterday I walked by the peach tree and saw that there were decent sized peaches on it. and I looked down and one had fallen off the tree. So I picked it up and bit into it.
Remember how I described home-canned, farm fresh peaches? Summertime in a jar? Melts in your mouth? Syrupy sweet? This peach was better.
It was tender. It dissolved in my mouth. It was sweeter than sugar syrup and yet it was juicy, not sticky. The flesh was yellow with delicate red lines shooting out from the pit. The skin of most peaches is slightly bitter and the flesh near the pit very sour but with this one, those disappeared along with the rest of the peach into my mouth, down my throat, and into my stomach.