Peaches were originally from an area near the city of Xian, China. They were cultivated in China at least 3,000 years ago. Wild peaches, called "Maotao" or "Yietao", still grow in remote areas of China. Throughout the next centuries, peaches were spread all over Europe.
Today, the peach is grown in at least 64 countries worldwide. The U.S. produces about 20% of the world's peaches.
Peaches are a good source of Vitamin A which is a potent antioxidant and is important for the immune system.
Peaches are a good source of fibre and Vitamin C. They are also rich in phytochemicals which act as antioxidants, ridding the body of free radicals. Phytochemicals are critical for healthy skin and can be thrown out of balance in the body by exposure to the sun's UV rays.
Although peaches can be cooked, canned, dried, pureed, boiled, roasted, and made into jam, the best flavour and nutritional benefits are derived from enjoying them fresh and whole, fuzz and all! In their natural state, no nutrients have been extracted and nothing harmful has been added.
Peaches are sensitive souls. They bruise easily, and should be handled with care.
If they aren't ripe, store them in a paper bag, but please don't pile them on top of each other or, yes, those bruises will appear. If ripe, they may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week depending on the degree of ripeness.
For full succulence, bring peaches to room temperature and then enjoy both flavor and aroma.
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