Today, August 22, were focusing on peaches because its National Eat a Peach Day!
If you’ve visited your local farmers’ market lately, you’ve probably noticed the boom in fruit selection. Late summer marks the harvest of many of Canada’s most delicious fruits, including cherries, blackberries, and peaches. Today, August 22, we’ll be focusing just on the peaches, however, because it’s National Eat a Peach Day!
Peaches are native to Asia; however, since their import to Europe approximately 2,000 years ago they’ve become one of the most widely cultivated stone fruits in the world.
Peaches came to Canada during the late 19th century, and since then have been a highlight of the Canadian summer. The BC town Penticton even hosts their annual Peach Festival, complete with a parade, a sandcastle building competition, live entertainment, and more.
Because peaches require relatively high temperatures to flourish but cannot survive extreme cold temperatures, their cultivation is limited to southern regions of BC and Ontario. Peach season runs from July to September, so don’t miss out on getting your local Canadian peaches!
Peaches are a delicious snack that’ll satisfy a sweet tooth, but not at a high caloric price. In fact, one large peach contains only 68 calories. Many of these calories do come from naturally occurring sugars, though, so don’t go overboard!
In addition, peaches contain a concentrated dose of vitamin C, a disease-fighting antioxidant required for tissue repair; maintenance of bone, cartilage, and teeth; and formation of skin, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. They also contain vitamin A, another antioxidant that’s important for eye and immune health, reproduction, and cell function.
How to buy and store
When choosing peaches from your local farmers’ market or green grocer, look for ones that are relatively firm to the touch and emit a sweet smell. Ensure the flesh and skin is not wrinkled, cut, or bruised, or that it doesn’t have a green tinge, which would signify that it’s not quite ripe.
Store peaches out of direct sunlight at room temperature until ripe. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator for up to five days. Overripe peaches should be used immediately.
Eat a peach
In celebration of Eat a Peach Day, why not try out one of these delicious recipes, featuring the fuzzy Canadian peach?