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We love Peaches!

We love Peaches!

Peaches are a fruit tree of the rose family, and are grown in warmer climates in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres. They originated in Zhejiang Province, China, and are one of the most ancient of domesticated fruits. They have been cultivated for nearly 4000 years. 

The only true wild peaches can still be found in areas of China. They are a smaller, sour and very fuzzy. As they have been developed over the centuries and spread around the world, there are now thousands of variations. Nectarines are one of these variants, and nectarine trees are virtually indistinguishable from peach trees. Peach trees sometime produce occasional nectarines amongst their branches. Yellow fleshed peaches are most popular in the Americas. White, melting fleshed variants are most popular in China and, as of 2005, 80% of their production was being retained for use within their own country. Yellow and white fleshed are both enjoyed in Europe.

With such a deep history, peaches have become part of Chinese culture in many ways. As a symbol of youth and immortality, peaches are given as a special birthday gift to aging family member or friend to wish them long life. They also represent unity and fertility, and therefore peach blossoms are carried by many new brides - what a lovely idea for a wedding theme!

Peaches were originally enjoyed by Chinese Emperors and served within royal circles only. Eventually Persian traders began bringing peaches to the Persian Empire. Rome at this time referred to peaches as Persian Apples. Europe was introduced to the peach by Alexander the Great, and centuries later they travelled with Columbus to the Americas with his second and third voyages.

We will be following up this post with some delicious peach recipes for you to try out!