Peach season is well and truly here, Fethiye market is brimming with them. This week Fethiye in Season looks at the heath benefits of peaches, a few peachy facts and, since it’s BBQ season, gives you a quick grilled peach recipe that makes the perfect simple dessert.
Some peachy facts:
Peaches originated in China and spread worldwide via the silk route many years ago. They are technically considered a “drupe” and are related to plums, almonds, damsons and nectarines. They grow on deciduous trees and many areas of the world are now famed for their peach harvests. California and Georgia (The Peach State) produce over 50% of the USA’s peaches. China, Turkey and Italy also have fabulous harvests and export many fruits globally. The popular juice brand Tropicana specifically picked Turkish Bursa peaches for their carton juice, and Turkish peaches can be found in many UK supermarkets including Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.
Peaches have a fluffy, fuzzy exterior and flesh that ranges in colour from pale cream and yellow to dark red depending on the variety. The most common type in Fethiye are the apple sized round fruits. They are either ‘freestone’ where the flesh is easily removed from the central stone with a twist, or ‘cling stone’ where the flesh is attached. It is difficult to tell which you are buying here without asking the vendor but both are juicy and delicious.
How to store peaches and pick the best fruit:
The best peaches haven’t been over handled. They have a mild, sweet aroma and a rich, deep orange/crimson colour (think Calis sunset!). They are still a little firm but give slightly when gently pressed. Avoid those that are bruised or extremely soft. If you are looking to keep a few to eat a couple of days later, buy firmer ones and either keep them at room temperature and wait, or pop them in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process (similar to bananas). Ripe peaches keep best in the fridge but remember to take them out and leave them to come up to room temperature to enjoy the full peachy flavour!
Heath benefits of peaches.
At around 37 calories per fruit, peaches are the ideal low calorie, low cholesterol and low fat summer snack or dessert. They pack a real punch in the heath department containing no less than 10 vitamins; A, C, E, K and six B complex vitamins, according to Medical Daily. Eaten regularly, they can help your immune system, promote better vision and their nutrients can help increase nerve and cell function.
Incorporating them in your diet.
The weather in Fethiye is certainly hotting up at the moment, have you read our last post about next weeks African Heatwave? (Ready for an African Heatwave?) This makes it the ideal time for firing up that BBQ in your Turkish property and dining Al fresco. We figured it’s too hot to fuss in the kitchen baking and making cobblers and pies so have come up with a quick way to take peaches directly to your BBQ table:
BBQ Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Butter and Vanilla Ice Cream (Serves 4)
100g Unsalted Butter, Melted
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
Splash of Oil
4 Ripe Peaches, Halved and Pitted
4 Generous Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
Method: Combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the peaches with oil and BBQ/Grill them until golden and cooked through (around 7 minutes depending on heat). Just before you take them off the grill, brush them with a generous layer of the cinnamon and sugar mix. Remove to a serving plate and serve warm with a knob of ice cream and mint sprig garnish or a drizzle of honey if you’re feeling fancy!
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(Photo of Grilled Peaches by Mike McCune at Flickr. Recipe adapted from BobbyFlayss on Food Network)