January 6 - 12, 2013: Issue 92
Summer peaches are now in season and cheap, plentiful, very
sweet with a wide variety to choose from. This ancient fruit from China, where
it is regarded as a Tree of Life, is sumptuous eaten as is but can also be
tweaked to make great salads or served as a special desert. Australian peaches
are available between October and April and around 100, 000 tonnes are produced
during the growing season.
The bush food ‘peach’ the Quandong, is fruiting at present too and, if you can get some fresh ones or even the freshly dried variety, you can make a high in vitamin C biscuit to keep you glowing with health.
Rocket, Peach, Proscuitto And
120g baby rocket
70g parmesan, shaved
100g finely sliced prosciutto
4 white peaches, halved with stones removed
cracked black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1. Arrange rocket, parmesan shavings, prosciutto curls and peach halves onto plates. 2. Top with cracked black pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Grilled Peaches with Vanilla
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Five minutes
Eight yellow peaches, halved and stones removed
Two tablespoons caster sugar
Two tablespoons maple syrup
Two teaspoons butter
100g fresh ricotta cheese
One teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1. Place peach on a grill tray cut side up, pour a little syrup over each peach and dot with a little butter
2. Cook under a hot grill until bubbling and heated through
3. Mix together ricotta, sugar and vanilla
4. Serve immediately with the grilled peaches
Recipes courtesy of Summerfruit Australia: http://www.summerfruit.com.au/Home.aspx
Wattleseed & Quandong Cockles
* 325gm Unsalted Butter, softened
* 120 gm Icing Sugar
* 2 Tbsp Australian Honey
* 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
* 2 cups of SR Flour
* 1 cup of Custard Powder
* 1 tsp wattleseed
These gorgeous biscuits literally melt in your mouth.
1. Cream butter and sugar for 5 mins. Add Honey and Cinnamon and beat for another minute. 2. Sift flour, wattleseed and custard powder, add to butter mixture.
3. Roll into small balls and place on lined trays. Press down with a fork. 4. Bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 mins, until just golden. Don’t over cook. 5. Transfer to wire cooling racks. 6. When biscuits are cool, join with Outback Pride Quandong Jam.
100gm Dried Quandong, 2 granny smith apples, 600gm castor sugar, 1 lemon or lime, juiced
Put the quandong in a bowl, cover with water and leave to soak for about 8 hours or overnight. (Yields just about 500gm of fruit)
Peel, core and roughly chop the granny smith apples and then place the apple and the quandong in a pan with the quandong soaking water and lemon juice. Simmer for about 30 minutes until soft, stirring from time to time. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sugar, Stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, boil rapidly for 20 to 25 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat, blend if required, but be sure to leave chunky pieces of apples and quandong in the jam. Pot and cover as usual.
Recipes courtesy of Taste Australia Bush Tucker: http://tasteaustralia.biz/bushfood/
Copyright Pittwater Online News, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
The peach, Prunus persica, is a deciduous tree, native to China and
South Asia, where it was first cultivated. It bears an edible juicy fruit also
called a peach. The species namepersica refers to its widespread cultivation in
Persia, whence it was transplanted to Europe. It belongs to the genus Prunus
which includes the cherry and plum, in the family Rosaceae. The peach is
classified with the almond in the subgenus Amygdalus, distinguished from the
other subgenera by the corrugated seed shell.
Peaches and nectarines are the same species, even though they are regarded commercially as different fruits. Nectarines have smooth skin, while peaches have fuzzy skin; genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from dominant allele for fuzzy skin.
The scientific name persica, along with the word "peach" itself and its cognates in many European languages, derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia. The Ancient Romans referred to the peach as malum persicum "Persian apple", later becoming French pêche, hence the English "peach". 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 early days of Chinese culture, circa 2000 BCE. Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century BCE and were a favoured fruit of kings and emperors. As of late, the history of cultivation of peaches in China has been extensively reviewed citing numerous original manuscripts dating back to 1100 BCE.
Peaches are not only a popular fruit, but are symbolic in many cultural traditions, such as in art, paintings and folk tales such as Peaches of Immortality. Peach blossoms are highly prized in Chinese culture. The ancient Chinese believed the peach to possess more vitality than any other tree because their blossoms appear before leaves sprout. When early rulers of China visited their territories, they were preceded by sorcerers armed with peach rods to protect them from spectral evils. On New Year's Eve, local magistrates would cut peach wood branches and place them over their doors to protect against evil influences. Peach kernels (táo rén) are a common ingredient used in traditional Chinese medicine to dispel blood stasis, counter inflammation and reduce allergies.
A medium peach weighs 75 g (2.6 oz) and typically contains 30 Cal, 7 g of carbohydrate (6 g sugars and 1 g fibre), 1 g of protein, 140 mg of potassium, and 8% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C. Nectarines provide twice the vitamin A, slightly more vitamin C, and are a richer source of potassium than peaches. As with many other members of the rose family, peach seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides, including amygdalin (note the subgenus designation: Amygdalus). These substances are capable of decomposing into a sugar molecule and hydrogen cyanide gas. While peach seeds are not the most toxic within the rose family--that dubious honour going to the bitter almond--large doses of these chemicals from any source are hazardous to human health. They are rich in many vital minerals such as potassium, fluoride and iron. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and is essential for prevention of dental caries. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Peaches contain health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin andß-cryptoxanthin. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
Peach. (2012, December 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Peach&oldid=530674889
Illustration: Peach flower, fruit, seed and leaves as illustrated by Otto Wilhelm Thomé (1885). Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany. Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber