Late summer brings back memories of peaches. We used to buy them in baskets back in Canada, and my sister still does. The ones she buys in Quebec are grown in Niagara, Ontario, which has a warmer climate than most of Canada.
Those peaches are a bit smaller than the ones we get here, but they are delicious; dripping with juice, sweet and fragrant. Everything you expect when you bite into a peach.
Now cast your eyes on the peach in the above photo. It is typical of several I have bought in recent weeks. It smelled fine and seemed ripe after a few days (slightly soft to the touch, with a peachy smell), but it was all a cruel hoax. The fruit was dry and mealy inside. Fit only for the compost. That slightly wet part at the bottom in the photo below? That’s rot, not juice.
I even bought a few peaches at a fancy speciality market that usually has great produce, but those peaches rotted before they ever ripened.
Don’t tell me that this peach was bred for long distance transport, because New Jersey is about the same distance from Rhode Island as Niagara is from my sister’s supermarket in Quebec.
I have traveled to a few “third world” countries and one thing they had in common was tasty fruit, usually sold right on the side of the road. I feel so ripped off, buying peaches that may or may not be edible, and 90 percent of the time, finding out I’ve wasted my money.
I guess the only decent peaches will remain in my childhood memories – and at my sister’s.