Food

Gwen Fowler

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Have a fresh, juicy S.C. peach today

Posted 6/9/2010 3:57:00 PM
If you haven’t enjoyed fresh peaches yet this season, you owe it to yourself to get your hands on a juicy South Carolina peach today. I try not to let a single day go by without having at least two or three.

Here is some advice from the S.C. Peach Council on picking the perfect peach:

One good way to judge ripeness is by smell. A green peach doesn’t have much smell; a ripe one smells like, well, like something good enough to eat. Color isn’t a great way to judge because not all peaches are red. Do watch out for the color green; a peach with a tint of green isn’t ripe. It should be firm but should give a little when squeezed gently.

Once you get your peaches home, don’t store them in the refrigerator until they are completely ripe. They should be good in the refrigerator for about a week. I never put them in the refrigerator because I don’t like to eat them cold. I buy a small amount that will be fine at room temperature for the short time it takes me to finish them off.

For listings of peach growers in your area, visit www.certifiedscgrown.com.

Here are some peach festivals coming up:

The 40th annual Ridge Peach Festival in Trenton is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 19, in the town park. Trenton is between North Augusta and Edgefield. Peaches, of course, will be the star attraction, with fresh peaches from Titan Farms in Ridge Spring, as well as homemade peach preserves, jams and jellies for sale. There also will be arts and crafts, food vendors, carnival rides and live entertainment throughout the day. For more information, visit www.ridgepeachfestival.com.

The 52nd Lexington County Peach Festival in Gilbert is on Saturday, July 3, this year. Because this festival is held on July 4 each year, except when the 4th falls on a Sunday, it is always a true slice of Americana. It starts at 8:30 a.m. and runs until the end of a 10 p.m. fireworks show. The event includes a parade, a beauty pageant, live entertainment, a car show and arts and crafts. Peach ice cream is always popular on a hot July day, but there also are peach cobbler, peach tea and other peachy foods. There’s also a peach recipe contest, and the winning recipes from the past few years are on the web site. Plate lunches of barbecue pork and chicken also will be available. The festival is held in the Gilbert Community Park. For information, visit www.lexingtoncountypeachfestival.com.

The S.C. Peach Festival in Gaffney is Thursday, July 15, through Saturday, July 17. Events include a peach desert contest, barbecue competition, beauty pageant, parade, live entertainment, arts and crafts, a road race, car show and antique tractor show. For information, visit www.scpeachfestival.org.