February 10 - 16, 2019: Issue 393

Summer Peaches - from wyong!

Large Australian Yellow Peaches are currently available in shops and very sweet and juicy. The boxes state they're from Wyong - so no cold storage and long travelling times there - and the prices, at $3 a kilo, indicate we are in the middle of harvest season for this particular variety of scrumptious fruit.

Peaches are classified into two categories—freestones and clingstones. Freestones are those whose flesh separates readily from the pit. Clingstones are those whose flesh clings tightly to the pit. Some may be unaware that nectarines and peaches are actually the same species.

They average around 35 calories per peach and as well as being a sweeter alternative to any lolly are packed with vitamins. The peach has Vitamins A, C, E, K and six of the B complex vitamins. Vitamin A and beta carotene helps you achieve optimal vision, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that is helpful to your immune system. Although peaches provide lower levels of vitamins E and K, they reside in significant quantities within the peach. Vitamin E is another antioxidant, while vitamin K is essential to your blood clotting capabilities. Peaches are also a source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid, all valuable nutrients when it comes to your cells and nerves.

Although its botanical name Prunus persica refers to Persia (present Iran) from where it came to Europe, genetic studies suggest peaches originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the neolithic period. Until recently, it was believed that the cultivation started c. 2000 BC. More recent evidence indicates that domestication occurred as early as 6000 BC in Zhejiang Province of China. The oldest archaeological peach stones are from the Kuahuqiao site. Archaeologists point to the Yangtze River Valley as the place where the early selection for favorable peach varieties probably took place. Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings and literature beginning from the early 1st millennium BC.

In Australia they were grown by the first settlers, with people alike William Furber, a neighbour of James Squire, offering them within years. This Notice from the Sydney Gazette, which began publication in 1803, is just one example:

SYDNEY WHARF.---On Saturday Morning last, 5 boats came in from Kissing Point with fruit, vegetables, potatoes, poultry, &c. Peaches sold from 3d. to 6d. per dozen, melons from 4s. to 5s. per doz. plants 6d. per hundred, potatoes from 10s. to 12s. 6d. per 100lbs. : Full grown fowls 3s. each, half grown do. 1s. 6. each.  A RUM EFFECT. (1803, March 12). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article625449 

Mr. Furber was selling peach trees:

Peach Trees.
To be sold by William Furber, settler at Kissing Point, a quantity of bearing peach trees of the Early Newington and other delicious kinds, from 1 to 5s. each. — Those who wish to lay out their grounds to advantage without the tedious delay of rearing the plant, would find their advantage in an early application to the advertiser, who will warrant those that are purchased as bearing trees, to be so. Classified Advertising (1807, July 26). The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), p. 1. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article627477 

It would be likely local Pittwater settlers also had a peach tree or two, which was followed by orchards with prize winning fruit. This 1881 article shows some of the fruit available to visiting 'excursionists' soon after the Newport Wharf had been installed:

Sydney Items by "Observer."
SYDNEY TO NEWPORT.

On Saturday last a large number of excursionists availed themselves of the holiday to visit Newport, which is situated at the head of Pittwater, about three hours steam from Sydney; and as there has been for some time continual allusions to the attractions in and around its locality, I took a ticket at a cost of 5s. for the trip, and must say the amount was well spent, the excursion turning out pleasant beyond all expectations. 

On landing at Newport, with an appetite sharpened by the steady steam trip of fifteen miles to Barranjoey, against a light north-easterly breeze, and being composed by the smooth run of four miles up the Pittwater inlet, the sight of a good supply of peaches with the bloom on them, pears, apples, and passion fruit, etc., beneath a tent erected by some enterprising local farmer, was a welcome surprise, and it is needless to say the fruit suffered severely. 

After this the Newport Hotel was visited, and, as dinner was ready, this had to be attended to at the moderate cost of 1s. 6d. ; but, the time being limited, the roving portion of the excursion began, and I soon found beautifully-shaded glens, with picnic parties sitting upon beds of light green moss, beneath broad-topped trees. There were ferns of many kinds to gather ; the native cabbage-tree, rock lilies, and staghorns, could be seen growing to perfection; and then the climbing-plants attached from the bottom to the top of the high gum trees, and drooping, in naturally-formed festoons, from the ends of each bough to the ground, and, passing on to other trees, formed a picture not soon forgotten. 

Afterwards the sea beach was reached in about three quarters of a mile from Newport, and we learned of numerous caves to visit, but they were left for a more convenient time, and the fear of being too late for our steamer soon brought us to Newport beach, where oysters are numerous; and there must be good fishing ground near, as some fair samples were hauled ashore by those people who came prepared with lines and other articles.

It is lucky the caves and other things we heard of did not tempt us, for it was not long after reaching the wharf that the Illawarra's whistle gave its last shriek, and we were just arranging how to while away the time on the homeward trip, it never being considered pleasant to go back the way you come. 

On turning the first point after leaving the Newport wharf, a beautiful scene of hill and dale on both sides of the noble ex-panse of the broad lake-like Pittwater, with bold grotesque shaped sandstone headland projecting at numerous parts on both sides, and neat white sandy beaches nestled at the ends of irregularly formed bays, stretching 4 miles to Barrenjoey on the west side, and to the Hawkesbury Head on the east, with an island in view between these points, of couchant lion shape, as if guarding the entrance of the angry sea when setting from east to west, and on turning Barranjoey Head for home to observe the crested waves dashing against the rocky projections causing white fairy like foam for a moment, and at times when dashed high enough, the prismatic colors of the particles of sea water were so brilliant that one might be excused for wishing they would not fade so soon. At this stage of the trip, however, the pleasures ended for me, as the steady rolling waves caused curious feelings, culminating in irregular movements over the side of the steamer, and making me wish myself safely moored in Sydney, as was the case at 7.20 p.m.
Sydney Items by "Observer." (1881, January 6). The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article814463

Although improvements in farming methods have occurred in the last two hundred years, the peach you sink your teeth into today will taste much like the peach enjoyed a few generations back. 

These are best enjoyed just as is and just ripe but a few ideas to enjoy them as part of a meal are provided for those who want to treat their family and friends to something special and memorable.

Peach and Ricotta Salad
3-4 peaches 
Baby Spinach (Rocket leaves can be used as an alternative)
3 heirloom tomatoes
1 small red onion, cut in thin half moons
Fresh ricotta cheese

Salad Dressing
2 Tbsp quality balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp quality olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper

Wash all your salad ingredients.
Slice the peaches in half or quarters and remove the pit. 
Arrange the spinach, tomatoes, onions on a platter.
Whisk dressing ingredients together.
Place the peaches on top on the salad ingredients. You can also cut the peaches into smaller wedges beforehand if you wish.
Garnish with ricotta and drizzle salad dressing on top and serve immediately.
You can add avocado or prosciutto to this recipe as well - these flavours work well together. Fetta cheese will work as an alternative to ricotta if you like a stronger cheese.

Peach Salsa
For accompanying grilled fish, chicken, fish tacos or pork chops
2 cups diced peeled peaches
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 medium lime
1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced hot or mild chile pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 Garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon orange or pineapple juice (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Sugar or honey, if desired, to taste - you probably won't need this with the sweet peaches currently available.

Combine all ingredients and gently toss. Allow to stand for 45 minutes to develop flavours prior to use.

Upside-down Peach cake
2-3 just-ripe peaches, de-stone and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/4 cups (185g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (60g) almond meal
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar, extra
150g butter, melted
1/2 cup (125ml) honey
3 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line the base and side of a 20cm round cake pan with baking paper.
Arrange the fruit, slightly overlapping, over the base of the cake pan. Sprinkle with sugar.
Combine flour, almond meal and extra sugar in a large bowl. Whisk the butter, honey, eggs and sour cream in a medium bowl. Pour into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Pour over the nectarine or plum and smooth the surface.
Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 10 mins to cool slightly before turning onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Lane Cove and Pittwater. 
(BY OUR TRAVELLING REPORTER.):  

Another trip I took very recently, via Manly to Pittwater, or rather Newport, as I suppose it will in future be known by. I was fortunate enough to be included in a party of four, and, like the previous one, found this journey an extremely pleasant one. Taking a couple of conveyances from Manly, we drove on a very well made road 'some 14 miles or so, passing enroute through a very large shallow lagoon, connected with the ocean by a narrow outlet. I was informed that it was the duty of some official to so " manipulate" the sandbank at the latter place as to keep the crossing place as safe as possible, by allowing free outlet for the water. It is to be hoped that this gentle-'man does not neglect his work, as I understand it is a matter that requires constant attention. Arrived at the embryo township of Newport, we had just time to give a passing glance around before our brief sojourn was over. There is already a small quay where the American pine is landed that the one house-an hotel-is being partly constructed of. The place is very beautiful, and the gentlemen interested therein, Messrs. Mills, Pile, and Jeannerett, deserve well of the Sydney people for their enterprise in making another "extra desirable" resort of the metropolitan citizens. I may mention, concerning the lagoon we had to got through, that a bridge thereon is already on the tapis, that will place Newport within three hours of the General Post-office. And thus, so far; ends, my suburban pilgrimage, which I have as heartily enjoyed as anything of the sort it has been my good fortune to experience. Lane Cove and Pittwater. (1880, August 28). Australian Town and Country Journal (NSW : 1870 - 1907), p. 18. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70947110


Picture of Newport hotel above is dated 10.7.1884 by Robert Hunt and courtesy Pittwater Local studies - Historical Images, Mona Vale Library.

Recipe Ideas - Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Apricot - January Summer Fruits  

Artichoke – The Flower Vegetable that Crops in Spring  

Australian and Native Cherries (Summer Fruits) - the Duntroon Connection - Marrianne Collinson Campbell 

Autumn is Apple Season 

Autumn Feast of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Body

Broccoli - Early Spring Crop

Beetroot: Summer Vegetables 

Cabbage - Winter Food 

Cherry - Australian summer Fruit 

Chick Pea Burgers with Homemade Hummus 

Classic Winter Soups

Easter Feast - modern and historic  

Edible Weeds  Eggs: Five Ways - Savoury 

Fennel - Winter Vegetable  

Full Fruit Bowl for Seasonal Health

Figs - Late Summer Fruit  

Fresh Herbs for Health

Green Beans - Spring Vegetables

Healthful Cordials And Cleansing Tonics  Hogmanay (New Year) Dinner - Australian Style  Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman  Honey, Honey: Inaugural World Bee Day - Honey Cake Recipes Around the World

Kale: for Pure Energy  Kale, Ricotta And Chicken Cannelloni

Make Your Own Treats For Christmas Gifts - Jaffa Rum Balls, White Christmas, Gingerbread People, Spicy Nut Mix, Strawberries Dipped in Christmas, Scottish Shortbread, Spanish Polverones, Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies), Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Biscuits), Italian Lemon Shortbread Squares (Shortbread con crema al limone)

Mandarins Spring Fruits  Mandarins Winter Fruits  

Mangoes - Summer Fruits  

Mother's Day at Breakfast Menu for those who 'can't cook'

Mums Vegetable Soup with Macaroni 

Mushrooms Autumnal Shifts

Nectarines - Summer crop Nicoise Salad: An Autumn Salad

Packham's Triumph Pears - The Australian Pear  

Parsnip - Winter Vegetables  Pear - Autumn Fruits  

Perfect Summer Picnics  

Potato Gnocchi    Pumpkin  Pumpkin Season 2015

Sage - the 'saving' herb Remembrance Day 2012 Food  

Self-Saucing Winter Puddings  Silverbeet - Winter Vegetable  

Spring Salad Season  Spring Strawberries Spring Salads  

Summer Lilli Pillis  Summer Passionfruit  Summer Peaches, Quandongs (Wild Peach) - Marian Rowan Ellis Summer Peaches - From Wyong! Summer Plums - Greengages

Summer Raspberries Native Ones - Adam Forster

Ten Minute Spring SaladsSpring Fare 

The Food of Love  Tomato 

Vegetable Bhaji

Winter Crops Winter Vegetable Pies   Zucchini Strawberries

Pittwater Restaurants, Cafés and Bistros

Alma Restaurant Avalon 

Avalon Chinese Restaurant 

Avalon on the Beach Kiosk

Barrenjoey House: Winter 2017

Café Edelweiss and the German Butchery at Bassett Street: Mona Vale  Caffeine Villains - Newport

Club Palm Beach: Fish Fridays

Cranky Fins Holidae Inn  

Cranzgot's Pizza Cafe

Duck Creek Macadamias - Orange Obsessions

Flannerys Organic & Wholefoods Market - Mona Vale

Graze N Cakes North Avalon-Careel Bay

Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman

Japanese Cuisine in Avalon: Four Options

Laurie Bimson's Marinated Kangaroo Recipe  

Lobster Nights at Club Palm Beach

Marina Café: Church Point - within The Quays Marina at Church Point

Mekong: Merchants of Taste - Vietnamese street food Avalon Beach

Modus Operandi Brewing Co., Brilliant Beers, Beautiful Burgers in Mona Vale

Palm Beach Fish and Chips Tops Scale at 10  

Parkview Restaurant: Avalon Beach RSL Club

Pasadena Pantry & Fresh

Prontos Creative Food - Palm Beach  Pronto Creative Food Celebrates 30 Years - Palm Beach Success Story for Local Lady  Pronto Creative Food: Something Sweet

Riva Bar and Kitchen - Avalon Beach

RMYC Function Food at Rotary Club of Pittwater 52nd Changeover Dinner  

RMYC Ladies Lunch for July(2012); 'Boosting Your Brain and turning Your Stress Into Success' by Dr. Helena Popovic

Salt Cove at RMYC Broken Bay Sky Thai Avalon  Sushi Ichiri

The 2107 Restaurant - Avalon

The Avalon On The Beach Restaurant and Kiosk Opens in Avalon Beach SLSC clubhouse  

The Balcony Room at Palm Beach Golf Club

The Chick'n Shack Café at Careel Bay - For Lovers Of Old School Burgers and New School Ways

Waterfront Cafe - Church Point

To list your business, have a Pittwater Online News Food page run, or place a logo on the Pittwater Online News Food page, please contact us with details of your requirements. Logos may be embedded to redirect to your own website. Full pages include an overview of menus as well as beautiful images to make the food sampled look its best. Pages are archived into Permanent pages past their week of Issue.

Permanent pages in Pittwater Online News average 800 thousand visits per annum past their week of Issue ensuring diners will continue to view your eatery as a potential venue for breakfast, lunch or dinner or as the place to hold their larger functions. 

For Rates and Packages Contact us at: pittwateronlinenews@live.com.au