Peaches

by Abigail Shepherd

Varieties

More than 300 varieties are grown in North America alone, but the main thing to know about a peach is whether it's yellow or white flesh and clingstone, freestone, or semi-freestone.

Classification

Drupe:

The peach is considered a drupe because of the large pit in the center of it and the tender, juicy, edible flesh that surrounds it.

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Description

The fruit has yellow or whitish flesh, a light and sweet scent, and velvety skin. The flesh is very delicate and easily bruised, but is fairly firm in some commonly sold varieties, especially when green. The single, large seed is red-brown, oval shaped, and is surrounded by a wood-like pit.

Important Nutrients

A medium peach typically contains 30 Cal, 7 g of carbohydrate (6 g sugars and 1 g fiber), 1 g of protein, 140 mg of potassium, and 8% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C

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Cooking Methods

Sauteeing, baking, poaching and frying are all different and delicious ways to cook peaches and make a great dish!

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Fun Facts!

1. Peaches are grown commercially in 28 states. The top four peach-producing states are California, South Carolina, Georgia and New Jersey. California produces both fresh and processed peaches, whereas South Carolina and Georgia produce mainly fresh peaches.

2. The two basic types of peaches are clingstone and freestone. In clingstone peaches, the flesh “clings” to the “stone” of the peach, making it difficult to separate. This type is more suitable for processing. The pit of freestone peaches “freely” separates from the flesh, making it ideal for fresh consumption.

3. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2010, roughly 80 percent of processed peaches were canned and 16 percent were frozen.

4. Fresh market peaches are available from May through September.

5. The peach is a member of the rose family, and there are over 700 varieties of the fruit.

6. A large peach has fewer than 70 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber. It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C.