Peaches are a summer fruit, and Peach Ice Cream Day is a way to celebrate their goodness while enjoying a cooling delicious dessert.
Peaches are native to China and were taken to America by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Commercial cultivation has made them the second biggest fruit crop in the US (after apples). Peach ice cream is generally only made during the summer months and can be enjoyed in a sundae, as an ice-cream cone, on top of slices of peach, or simply on its own in a dish. It doesn’t need sprinkles, sauces or toppings as they can overpower the delicate flavor.
- In 2003, Portland, Oregon bought more ice cream per person than any other U.S. city.
- The biggest ice cream sundae in history was made in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1988, and weighed in at over 24 tons.
- The peach originated in China and has been cultivated at least since 1000 B.C. It has special significance in Chinese culture: the peach has mystical attributes, and supposedly brings luck, abundance and protection.
- The Romans called the peaches “Persian Apples” naming them after the country that introduced peaches to the West.
- Spaniards brought peaches to South America and the French introduced them to Louisiana. The English took them to their Jamestown and Massachusetts colonies. Columbus brought peach trees to America on his second and third voyages.
- China is the largest world producer of peaches, with Italy second.
- California produces more than 50% of the peaches in the United States (and grows 175 different varieties).
- So many peaches are grown in Georgia that it became known as the Peach State.
- True wild peaches are only found in China. Unlike the cultivated fruit, the wild fruit is small, sour and very fuzzy.
- You can ripen peaches by placing them in a brown paper bag for two to three days.
- Nectarines are a variety of peach with a smooth skin, not a cross between a peach and a plum.
- Like the plum and the apricot, the peach is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae), distinguished by its velvety skin. It is classified as a drupe, a fruit with a hard stone.
- The term, “you’re a real peach” originated from the tradition of giving a peach to the friend you liked.
- Peaches are the third most popular fruit grown in America.
- The United States provides about one-fourth (25%) of the world’s total supply of fresh peaches
The World’s Largest Peach is located in Gaffney, South Carolina, and weighs over 10,000 pounds. The city of Gaffney, near Greenville, built this water tower in the shape of a peach back in 1981.
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