This funny looking, fuzzy, flattened peach is described on the Specialty Produce web site as “scrumptiously delicious and almost candy-like”. That’s pretty much what I thought when I tried these Donut peaches last year. So, when I saw them at the market Sunday I gathered them up cuz if I remember rightly they weren’t available for very long.
The minute I put them in my bag I knew I wanted to share how good they are with you. So, when I got home I took this picture, and then did a little research so I could find out more about them; like where they came from, their nutritional value, and any other little bits of information that might catch my fantasy. I love learning more about the foods I really like, especially their history.
While researching I found this great list of the “Top 10 Reasons to Try a Donut Peach” from Mother Earth News. I couldn’t agree with this list more if I had written it myself.
1. They taste better than other peaches. They’re sweeter, with almond overtones.
2. They are lower in acid than other peaches.
3. The pit doesn’t cling to the flesh, so it’s easy to pop out with your thumb.
4. The fruit’s thin, red skin has little or no fuzz, so it doesn’t have to be peeled.
5. Their small size lends itself to being eaten out of hand.
The last five reasons have to do with growing your own Saturn (Donut) peach tree(s). Good reasons, but since I don’t have room I’ll just leave that part up to the wonderful farmers who do and, who bring these little beauties to the market for me to enjoy. If you have room then maybe you’ll consider planting one. I can’t think of anything better than being able to sit under your own tree and snack away.
6. The frost-hardy, highly pest- and disease-resistant trees are easy to grow in most areas.
7. You can count on Saturn peach trees to produce an abundant harvest up to twice as many peaches as other varieties.
8. The trees bloom earlier in the spring than other varieties, and put on an absolutely spectacular show of pink blossoms.
9. Most of the nursery stock is now grafted to dwarf roots, making easy work of pruning and harvesting.
10. By planting a rarer variety of peach, you are helping to preserve biodiversity and maintain diverse seed stocks for generations to come.
Now a little history: Originally from Asia, flat peaches have been cultivated for centuries. In the mid-1800s, several varieties were exported to the US, and Chinese flat peaches, as they were called, became popular for a brief period of time. The fruits fell out of fashion, however, and the flat peach was considered an essentially lost heirloom variety until the 1990s, when it began to enter widespread cultivation again. Definitely my thanks go out to those who brought this little beauty back into cultivation.
Nutrition: Like other peaches they are low in calories and high in vitamins A & C. And, this one is low in acid, which is why it tastes so sweet.
And, the best information I found was that they are grown right here in California’s central valley. Local and yummy!
If you find them at your market ask for a sample. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how sweet and juicy they are.