June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month. Thrive! is promoting fresh fruits and vegetables alongside the USDA to help focus attention on eating more fruits and veggies because 90% of adults and children don’t include enough in their diet. The first fruit we are going to highlight this month is the fruit of my home state Georgia – the peach.


The Peach became first known in China where it got its start with the name “tao.” From China they spread to the rest of the world through the ancient silk route.

The peach fruit belongs to the genus, Prunus; in the family of Rosaceae.

Peaches grow from a small plant that gets up to 25-30 feet tall.


There are three well known peach festivals in the US:

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  • Peach County, Ga — the “world’s largest peach cobbler” (5’x11′, using 75 gallons of peaches) is served each June.
  • Gaffney, Sc — every July since 1977
  • Middletown, De — the Old-Tyme Peach Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary August 2016.


The peach also has official status in several states:

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  • State fruit of South Carolina, since 1984
  • Tree fruit of Alabama, since 2006
  • State fruit of Georgia since 1995, which is also known as the “Peach State”
  • State flower of Delaware, since 1896 (peach blossom)



May through August with little wiggle room depending on weather and climate.

Peaches are very much a seasonal fruit, if you ever try buying a peach in the winter months they are more expensive for one thing and they most likely have traveled a long way to get to that grocery.


The flesh of the peach will be either yellow or white. The color does determine flavor for this fruit. Usually the white peach tends to be sweeter, and the yellow has a slight tang and acidity to it.

  • Being able to pull a peach apart depends on whether it is a freestone or a clingstone. The clingstone is used for commercial canning usually.
  • All types of peaches do have the fuzzy exterior.


peaches are low in calories

The delicious sweet peaches are low in calories, which makes them perfect for a snack in the hot summer. They are on average about 58 calories and provide a great source for vitamin A, C, and E.

Vitamin C has anti-oxidant effects and is required for connective tissue synthesis inside the human body. Eating foods rich in vitamin C help develop resistance against infectious agents.

If that isn’t enough, peaches are also a great source of disease-fighting polyphenols and shows great promise in tackling certain types of cancer. In fact, a 2009 study linked peach extract to fighting off estrogen-dependent breast cancer cells.

ALLERGEN ALERT: Peach is one of the foods Korea considers a top allergen adn  requires  to be labled on packaged food.


When looking for a ready-to-eat peach always check the smell. Oddly enough smelling the fruit will help you determine if it’s ripe and ready to eat. If you don’t smell that signature perfume, a mix of tree blossoms and honey bee nectar (maybe a tiny bit of rose), move on to the next peach. A good peach ready to eat will be fragrant.

A great ready to eat peach will be tender and have some “give”. If the peach is rock hard, it was most likely picked too early and should not be eaten.

When picking peaches out at the store try to go with the peaches with no bruises or marks and ready-to-eat because they are so delicate and perishable.


The peach is a highly perishable fruit so if they need to soften up keep them out of the refrigerator and out of direct sunlight. When you want to buy some more time before enjoying the ripe peach stick them in the refrigerator where it will stop ripening. *Refrigeration lets in moisture and shriveling.


Some people just simply like to enjoy a juicy sweet peach by itself and others can’t wait for the summer to cook up peach cobbler, galette, peach ice cream and peach jam.

Peaches can also be grilled either as a smoky side or an unctuous caramelized sweet ending. *Grilled peaches with goat cheese or drizzled with honey.

Here are some delicious recipes to try:

Bourbon and Spicy Ginger Soda

Peach and Avocado Salad

Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry Peach Salsa

Whiskeyed Peach Shortcakes

Whiskeyed Peach Shortcakes
Whiskeyed Peach Shortcakes by Steven Satterfield. Photo by John Kernick at www.epicurious.com/