I'm really proud to be involved in making and selling one of the most delicious fruits I have ever tried. That is a big call after eating tasty mango's in North Queensland, impressive kiwifruit In Te Puke New Zealand, lush lychees in Chiang Mai Thailand and my brother in laws amazing apples in the Adelaide Hills.
It's unfair to compare Japanese and Australian peaches, but many of my friends have been thinking I’m a bit ill after all I do is talk my peaches up the whole time, so here we go,
The Meat -The last Australian peach I had was very floury and tasteless, the feeling I got eating it was similar to when you go around to your mates house after a solid day of mowing lawns and they give you a light beer, while they enjoy a delicious full strength beer, frustrated and disappointed.
After biting into that Aussie peach, I had to question if the Japanese peaches I had eaten in the past were just a beautiful dream. The Japanese varieties are perfectly sweet and the meat almost melts in your mouth similar to a cream sponge cake your Grandma would make.
The Smell and Size- The Supermarket peaches of Australia have very little aroma to them, when you smell the Japanese variety you can taste the sweet scent that will transport you to the farm they were grown and you will find your mouth is watering in anticipation for that first bite.
The size is of a Japanese peach is often double that of the same Australian variety. This is due to the differences in climate between the countries. The climate of Yamanashi is very similar to Central Otago New Zealand, which is another Mecca of delicious fruit. There are cold winters, hot summers and high amounts of sunshine. These are perfect peach growing conditions.
The Skin -The Australian variety often have skin that is very thick and furry, this is due to incorrect picking times, the fruit when picked is done with limited care, peaches are thrown into a crate or bin which severely bruises the fruit before the customer can even get them.
With the Japanese variety, they are carefully picked and placed on sponge to stop unnecessary bruising; they are then packaged to ensure they look their best. A Japanese peach is very delicate, it will bruise very easily, but you will never ever see bruised damaged peaches on sale in Japan.
Australian peaches are all about quantity, with ample land available, it's more important to grow as many fruit as you can. Compare that to Japan, where land is scarce, you need to get your fruit to the highest standard or else you are wasting your time.
These are a few of the ways our farm achieves the quality of fruit we are so proud of,
- Fruit is thinned to almost one fruit per branch, it ensure that lucky fruit can receive all the nutrition available to it to be the largest, tastiest, best smelling, blemish free fruit it can possibly be.
- The grass around the trees is regularly cut and left underneath, the grass is never sprayed, This is to ensure the micro organisms which aid growth and fight disease are always present for the trees.
- When the fruit is young (the size of a squash ball) it is individually bagged on the tree. This to limit early sunlight and wind that will ripen the fruit too early. It will also protect it from disease and predators.
- Once the fruit is around 70% grown, one part of the bag is removed but white paper on the top of the fruit remains, silver foil lining is the placed underneath the trees to reflect light to get the colour perfect. The remaining white paper on the fruit also reflects the sunlight to colour the top of the fruit.
- Fruit is the always picked when it is ready, it is then stored at room temperature rather than left in cool stores which diminish the sweet flavour even more.
There obviously more secrets of the trade, but I will leave it there. If you are reading this outside of Japan, take my word for it and make the trip to Yamanashi in summer time to enjoy the world’s tastiest peach from Morita Farm.