I hate bait-and-switch supermarket peaches

I hate bait-and-switch supermarket peaches

Supermarket peaches disappoint me, much like  Washington politicians.  The fruit looks gorgeous at the store--pale yellow orbs with lakes of teeny tiny dark red freckles. Perfect looking. Perfect to the touch.

But then I get them home and a day or two later, they get soft and mushy in some spots and stay hard in others. And they taste about as  flavorful as a raw potato. Or they don't get ripe at all no matter how long I leave them on the kitchen counter.  Sometimes they grow turquoise mold before I give up and toss them in the garbage.

Still, I've had a couple of mighty fine peaches in my life, the remembrance of  which keeps me searching for more. The first fabulous peach I had was years ago, many miles into an organized bike ride. I think it was the Apple Cider Century bike ride in the New Buffalo, Michigan area. But I could be wrong. The Apple Cider is an  annual bike ride that takes place in the fall (September 25, this year), but as the name suggests, the ride is more about apples than peaches.

Anyway, the peach that I remember was ripe and juicy with firm flesh that gave just a little when you pressed it and offered up a lovely faint, fresh, floral perfume. It tasted  sweeter than a Dairy Queen sundae. I wanted to eat it leisurely, savoring each bite and then repeat that experience with a a few more peaches that day, but alas, I couldn't. I was on a bike, and there were a lot more more miles to pedal.

The second fabulous peach experience was just a couple of weeks ago near Vail, Colorado. I was at the Route 6 Cafe at a party given by my brother Don and his wife Helen. The fete was in honor of  the marriage of their son Eli and daughter-in-law Sam, who got hitched last April in Mexico.

Don's longtime friend Charlie, who lives on an organic farm near Fort Collins with his wife Tara, was at the party.  Although the couple don't  grow peaches, Charlie had just purchased a bushel or so of Palisade peaches, which are grown in Palisade, Colorado and only available in August. Charlie went out to his car during the festivities and generously gave my sister Nancy and I a bunch of peaches.

I waited until I got back to my hotel room to eat one of mine. I'm glad I did because the peach rated high on the juicy scale, lots of sweet golden liquid dripped down my chin every time  I bit into it. I don't know if the peach was as magnificent as the one I had on the bike ride, but it sure was good. Besides, it's hard to top first experiences, especially if they're good ones.

Yesterday, as I passed by Didier Farms Farmstand in Prairie View, I noticed that Michigan peaches were in. I turned the car around and was able to snag up the very last one. We'll see if it as lives up to my other two outstanding peach experiences.  One can dream, right?

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  • wow!! you got the LAST peach??? that is a sign, for sure! i sure hope the third peach was the charm (iest)...

  • In reply to bonmcgrath:

    The peach was good but not great.

  • Hope this tip helps. I do it all the time.
    Put the peaches (no matter how hard or soft) in a brown paper bag, crunch it closed, and let it sit on your counter for a day or two (maybe more). I'd keep checking every day or so. I left them in a bit long last week and some started to mold. When done correctly the peaches should be nice and sweet and juicy.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Thanks for the tip!

  • First, it is "bait" not "bate." Sort of like fish bait.

    Second, it depends where you go, and I would suggest either farm stands (which you used) or ethnic produce markets if the alternative is Jewel or Dominick's.

    Of course, they will eventually go soft. However, mangoes are a worse story, in that they are too hard when you buy them, but are basically good on days 6 to 8, and they then become mush. At least soft peaches taste better than soft mangoes or bananas

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for catching the typo; you're the only one who noticed!

    As far as mangoes go, I've never had an awful one. But the real good ones are fabulous--like candy. Thanks for reading the blog!

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