RECIPES: Peach Summer Delight
Nicknamed the "Persian Apple," the peach was brought to America by Christopher Columbus on his second or third voyage, then spread by the Native Americans to many regions of this country long before the white settlers arrived.
Today it remains one of our favorite summer fruits. Choosing the best peaches is important since you want fruit at just the right stage of ripeness to ensure a sweet taste.
For instance, red color does not always guarantee good quality, so look for peaches with a creamy or yellow background color and smooth skin. Avoid green fruit - it will not ripen any further. Also refrain from buying rock hard or bruised fruit.
Once a peach is picked it will not become any sweeter, but will ripen into a softer, juicier fruit. To ripen, put peaches in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperature on the kitchen counter where the natural gases given off by the fruit will "speed" the ripening process. Check them daily because ripening can occur quickly.
It's OK to store the ripened fruit in the same bag in the refrigerator for three days. Wash peaches only when you are ready to eat them.
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