Saturday, May 27, 2023
The email gods bestowed another gift on me, in the form of an announcement from The Peach Truck that they would be in town today.
What’s The Peach Truck, you ask?
It’s a delivery truck that shows up from Georgia each week during peach season and has the absolute best peaches I have ever eaten in my life. Next to strawberry season, it’s my favorite time of year.
Here’s the thing about supermarket peaches. They are sometimes fine, occasionally tasteless, and not infrequently go from hard as a rock to inedible mush overnight. I’ve always liked a good peach, even though I never knew what a good peach was until I met The Peach Truck.
It’s true what you hear about Georgia peaches. They are the only kind.
Once, when The Peach Truck wasn’t in town, we bought some peaches from Alabama. Peaches from Alabama are no better than apples from Alabama.
Apples have to come from an orchard in upstate New York. And peaches have to come from Georgia.
There is a trick to ripening peaches. You put them in a paper bag and fold over the edge, then leave them on the counter for anywhere from a few days to a week. They are one of those fruits that continues to ripen after they’re picked. You never refrigerate peaches, unless you want to preserve them in their current state.
The peaches we get are hard as a rock. There is no way you’re eating them on the day you get them. But the magic is that if you leave them alone in their bags, they will ripen into soft, juicy deliciousness that will make you cry.
Then you can put them in the refrigerator.
Personally, though, I love a room-temperature peach. It’s like eating a summer day.
The peaches are different throughout the season. Early on, you get smaller, cue ball sized cling peaches. Those are the ones that stick to the pit. Later, you get freestone peaches. They’re baseball sized and you can twist them open like little treasure boxes.
For the past few months, The Peach Truck has been sending email updates, teasing the season. The first series of emails was full of blissful joy about how well the trees were doing, and how excellent the harvest was shaping up to be.
The last few weeks, however, between the ridiculous temperature swings from 30 to 90 degrees on any given day, and the torrential rains, they took a more cautious note.
Finally, they told everyone that there were fewer peaches than usual so you’d better pre-order your box if you really wanted them.
This sounds like a gimmick, but it is not. Every marketing email ever wants to tell you about the scarcity of whatever they’re selling. Farmers don’t play that game. Farmers know that anyone with half a taste bud is going to flock to buy their produce, even if they never say a word.
They also want to avoid disappointed stalkers… er, fans… when supply runs out.
I did not pre-order a box. But I did show up a half hour after they opened their first popup location for the season. There was a long line, and the boxes were indeed dwindling fast.
They used to show up right outside the Farmers Market, which made it convenient to swing by and grab a box. But this year, between the limited supply and other nonsense of the construction variety, their only location is outside a coffee shop in town.
And if you THINK you’re getting parking anywhere near this coffee shop, you’re so cute. I have never parked as illegally in my life as I do when I’m buying peaches. I’ll triple park in front of a fire hydrant if I have to. I think the police actually understand this.
Not only were the boxes going quickly today, but instead of the 25 pound boxes we’re used to buying, they only had them available in 10. Ten! That’s 150% fewer peaches! This is a crisis of inexpressible magnitude, almost as horrible as finding out the rain had flooded out the strawberries!
Still, I purchased my ten pound box of peaches with gratitude to the farmers that grew them and the weather gods that allowed it. It was a lot easier to get up three flights of stairs with it, at any rate.
My peaches sit happily ensconced in paper bags, ripening. Ten pounds takes up a lot less counter space, too, so I guess that’s a plus.
I’m ready for peaches with my yogurt and granola, and for peach jam coffee cake. For peach and basil flatbread and peach muffins. For bourbon peach pork and peachy chicken. Mostly, I’m ready for them to be ripe enough to sink my teeth into that soft, fuzzy skin.
Next to world peace, if there is one thing I could wish for everyone, it’s the opportunity to taste a real, fresh Georgia peach.
Photo: a glorious 25 pound box of peaches. If we tried, we could eat them all in a week. But usually they lasted about two weeks, which means if we bought one every week, we’d have peaches every day for the entirety of the season.