Peach Pursuit

September 8, 2009 at 1:43 am 2 comments

Peaches at Greenmarket at Union Square.  © Margarida Correia

Peaches at Greenmarket at Union Square. © Margarida Correia

Book me a flight to China.  Quick.  It seems it’s the only place on earth where I’ll find a tasty peach.  In fact, if this Wall Street Journal article is right, China is where the world’s heavenliest peaches grow.

I’ve experimented with different peaches all season long — at the farmers market and the supermarket — and none have pleased me.  Maybe East Coast peaches are just not that great.  Last year, I lucked out with local peaches I found at the supermarket on my block, but I had no such luck this year.  The WSJ article explains that U.S. peaches — unlike those in China — are bred to have a long shelf life, rather than to be juicy and taste good.  

China’s “shui mi tao” or “water honey peaches” have a shelf life of one or two days.  They’re sold within a day or two of picking, each fetching a pricey $3 in groceries stores in Shanghai and Beijing. 

Transporting the delectable peaches across borders and time-zones is an expensive proposition that makes them off limits to most people, according to the article.  In Tokyo, the peaches go for $10 each.  Were they to make it to the U.S. — doubtful given the fragility of the fruit — the price would be off the charts.

I guess I better book that flight to China.

Entry filed under: Global Issues. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Matthew  |  September 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    What we’ve forgotten is that really ripe fruit just doesn’t travel. Too soft and juicy. The trade-off of constant fruit in the superdupermarket hasn’t been worth the discovery of a good juice-running-down-the-arm peach.

    Of course this year, with all the rain and little sun in the region, has been bad for both fruit and veggies. Things are water-plump but not sun-tasty.

  • 2. mcorreia  |  September 11, 2009 at 2:41 am

    I agree. The crummy summer weather hasn’t helped the peaches in the region.

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