Take a warm winter, then add in plentiful rains in the spring. What you get is a good kickoff to the peach season in the Tarheel State.
That recipe and that outcome is exactly what growers have this year in the state. Yield and quality is reportedly good for the fruit in the N.C. peach season, which typically runs from June to August.
"North Carolina growers produce 70 varieties, each with their own unique flavor," says Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "Be sure to include peaches in your summertime plans."
There are several celebrations featuring the peach season that are slated in the state:
- July 20 is Peach Day at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Colfax, N.C.
- July 21 is the day of the Peach Festival in Candor, N.C.
The Peach Day event at the Colfax farmers market will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will include peach recipe contests and samples Information about festivities held at Piedmont Triad Farmers Market can be found at www.triadfarmersmarket.com, or by calling 336-605-9157.
The Candor festival, held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include peach cooking contests, a 5K run, a parade and plenty of peach samples, desserts and ice cream. For more information about the peach festival, visit the town of Candor's website at www.townofcandornc.com.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services advises consumers when selecting peaches to choose fruits with creamy to gold undertones and a well-defined crease. Peaches with green undertones should be avoided, as they will never fully ripen. Peaches should be firm, but soft and have a good fragrance.
NCDA&CS says ripe peaches should be refrigerated in high humidity, while those that still need to ripen a bit can be set out at room temperature while it continues to soften and develop juices and flavor. Before eating a peach, wash and peel it, then remove the pit. A simple way to peel a peach is to dip it in boiling water for 30 seconds and then dip it in cold water. The peel should slide of easily.