Georgia earned its nickname The Peach State in the decades following the Civil War because the state was a major supplier of peaches to northern markets. The state continues to be a major supplier of peaches, not only to northern cities but to the entire country and world. Georgians love the peach and are proud of it. You will find the peach on welcome signs on our highways, on the stickers given to voters at the polls and even on the Georgia commemorative state quarter.
Approximately 40 varieties of peaches are grown commercially in Georgia. Some are low-chill varieties that do not require as many hours of cold temperatures in the winter and can be grown in extreme southern Georgia. Some are varieties that require more hours of cold temperatures and perform best in north Georgia. There are cling varieties in which the seed adheres to the flesh, and freestone varieties in which it does not. There are yellow-fleshed varieties and white-fleshed varieties. White-fleshed peaches are sometimes described as being less acidic and having a more delicate, floral flavor than yellow peaches.
A few ways to enjoy peaches:
Fresh peaches may be eaten alone or mixed with blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe and strawberries in fruit salads. Peach halves topped with blueberries and strawberries can be served as a fruit salad or as a dessert.
They are a favorite topping for corn flakes or other cold cereals.
Fresh peaches or fresh peaches mixed with sugar are sometimes used as a topping for vanilla ice cream, pancakes, pound cake or angel food cake.
For a satisfying low-fat lunch, mix peach slices with low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt.
Blend peaches into frozen daiquiris, smoothies or milkshakes. Peach ice cream is a classic.
For more information about peaches and a wide array of peach recipes and tips, visit the website of the Georgia Peach Commission at www.gapeaches.org