From peach cobbler to peach smoothies, some of the best recipes include peaches. While peaches are a delicious ingredient, how much peach trivia do you really know?
Did you know peaches are delicious and nutritional? Do you know where peaches originated or how many types of peaches there are today? These peach fun facts may have you calling peaches your new favorite fruit.
1. Peaches Are Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Fruits and vegetables help make up a healthy diet, and peaches stand out as extremely nutritious fruit. With just one medium size peach, you are provided with 10% of your daily vitamin A and 17% of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Peaches also contain several other vitamins and minerals, including the following:
- Vitamins E and K
Packed full of key vitamins and nutrients, peaches supply many benefits. Peaches are also rich in fiber and antioxidants, and according to Reader's Digest, peaches are one of the 10 healthiest fruits.
Other health benefits of peaches include:
- They are low in calories.
- Peaches contain no saturated fats.
- Peaches are an excellent source of antioxidants.
- They promote healthy aging.
- Peaches support heart health.
- The fruit lowers risk factors for heart disease.
- Digestive health is improved by peaches.
- Peaches aid in eye health.
- The nutrients in peaches can act as natural stress relievers.
- The high vitamin C found in peaches helps build resistance against infections.
- High vitamin A in peaches also helps minimize the risk of lung and oral cancer.
2. There Are Over 300 Varieties of Peaches
The U.S. produces 300 different types of peaches. Each peach variation has its own unique taste and texture and can be used for a variety of recipes or enjoyed on its own.
With so many peaches to choose from, where do you begin? Take a look at the four most popular peaches:
- Yellow: As the most common peach in the U.S., the yellow peach is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy. Yellow peaches' flesh color range from soft yellow to orange-yellow and sometimes include streaks of red.
- White: White flesh peaches are a popular choice in Asia and are increasing in demand in the U.S. These peaches are less acidic than yellow peaches, making them a sweeter peach option that's optimal for making jams or syrups.
- Donut: Donut peaches, sometimes called doughnut peaches or flat peaches, grow to resemble a donut, as the name implies. These odd-looking yet delicious peaches can come in either yellow or white flesh and offer a sweet flavor with a small pit, making them easy and fun to eat.
- Nectarine: If you love peaches but hate the fuzzy texture, enjoy a nectarine. With yellow and white flesh options as well as clingstone and freestone options, nectarines offer a similar flavor with smoother skin.
3. Only One Gene Separates Peaches and Nectarines
Another interesting peach fact is peaches and apricots are only separated by one gene. The mutation causes apricots to have smooth skin instead of peaches' distinct fuzzy texture.
Nectarines sometimes appear to have a deeper red color than peaches, which is most likely due to the lack of fuzz that allows the color to come through more. Regardless, other than the one differing recessive gene, peaches and nectarines are genetically identical. Nectarines can even be found growing on the same tree as peaches.
4. Georgia Is Known as the "Peach State"
When you think of Georgia, you may also think of peaches. But do you know why?
While other states, such as California and South Carolina, also grow peaches, Georgia produces the most high-quality and delicious peaches. Georgia's location and weather provide optimal peach growing conditions by being far north enough to provide enough winter chill but south enough to ensure harvesting can happen on schedule. Peaches are now recognized as the state fruit of Georgia.
5. Peaches Originated in China
A lesser-known fun fact about peaches is they are one of the most ancient domesticated fruits, with their origins leading back to China. Peaches are considered very important in Chinese culture as they symbolize fertility and longevity, and the fruit is mentioned throughout Chinese mythology.
Peach seeds are easy to preserve and transport, which made them a popular item for trading along the Silk Road. Eventually, peaches made their way to America once Spanish conquistadors introduced peaches to North America during the mid-1500s. Peach trees quickly sprouted in Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas.
6. There Are Three Categories of Peaches
Peaches are considered a stone fruit because of the hard pit located in the peach's center. The stone or pit and its relationship to the sweet fruity flesh surrounding it determine how peaches are categorized. When buying peaches, you can expect to see peaches grouped into three categories.
These categories are clingstone, freestone and semi-freestone. Each peach has its own interesting facts, such as:
- Clingstone peaches: Clingstone peaches have the sweetest and juiciest flesh out of the three categories. However, as the name implies, the pit in these peaches likes to cling to the fruit flesh, making it a bit more difficult to remove. The removal of the pit is still very doable, it just requires a more sophisticated slicing technique.
- Freestone peaches: Freestone peaches have a very simple pit removal. Cut the peach down the middle and watch as the pit basically falls out. Freestone peaches are much easier to prepare for baking or eating compared to clingstone peaches. However, they have a firmer texture and can be less juicy. These peaches are still just as delicious, though, and if you're looking for big peaches, freestone is the category you should opt for, as they are typically bigger than clingstone.
- Semi-freestone peaches: Get the best of both peaches with the semi-freestone peach. Also known as semi-clingstone, semi-free or semi-cling, these peaches have a taste and texture that resembles the clingstone peach while having the convenience of an easily removable pit like the freestone peach.
7. Peach Fuzz Is a Form of Protection
Peach fuzz may be annoying to some people, but it may actually help protect the fruit. Without peach fuzz, peaches would rot prematurely due to water exposure. Peach fuzz stops any extra water from reaching the delicate peach skin.
Another theory is that the fuzz keeps bugs away. The fuzzy texture of peaches may irritate insects, preventing them from laying their eggs and ultimately destroying the fruit.
8. The U.S. Grows 1.9 Billion Pounds of Peaches Annually
The U.S. is one of the top five peach producers globally. Georgia alone produces 130 million pounds of peaches each year. The other top-producing states for peaches include California, New Jersey and South Carolina.
There's nothing better than fresh, locally grown fruit, so shopping for produce from U.S. farmers gives you the best peach experience.
9. Peaches Are in Season From Mid-May- August
In season refers to the most ideal time to harvest and enjoy a particular fruit or vegetable. For peaches, that happens to be between Mid-May and August. Between these months, you can expect perfectly ripe peaches with a fresh and delicious taste.
However, peach in season can vary from state to state. In Georgia, the peach season can start as early as mid-May. Peaches begin to form once the peach tree flowers are pollinated, and the fruit will continue to grow for around 16 to 18 weeks.
Shop Delicious Georgia Peaches
Bring the Southern charm and indulgent taste of sweet, juicy Georgia peaches to your table with Lane Southern Orchards. Come down and visit the farm or have your fresh peaches delivered straight to your door. Or up your peach recipes with our pre-made peach mixes.
If you're craving peaches during the off-season, we've still got you covered. With our mouth-watering selection of jarred peaches, enjoy the taste of fresh peaches all year long. Whether you visit us in person or shop online, we're proud to share a bit of our home with you.