Its still another 4 weeks away until our first 2015 peaches are ready to be enjoyed. Im looking forward to a juicy peach almost as much a the next Shia Lebeouf motivation video. Perhaps that’s pushing it, but that first hit of peach definitely keeps the motivation levels up for those 430am starts.
Many people have been asking about how to choose the most ideal peach to suit their eating needs. Here is a guide to help you understand the ripeness when choosing your dream peach, then learn more about the different varieties we grow at Morita Farm for when you get to try them straight off the tree.
Yamanashi peach ripeness levels.
Green- The colouring looks good but the peach is still a week or longer away from getting anywhere near a reasonable state. This ripeness is commonly picked in New Zealand and Australia so it can be stored in cooler rooms for months and sent to supermarkets for fools to buy. If you come to Yamanashi and pick a green peach, I’m 100% certain Slenderman will come and find you. You have been warned.
Hard– It has the same hardness as a baseball and shouldn’t really be picked, there is no give with the skin and bitten into it will be slightly astringent and limited sweetness. The only use for picking a peach like this is to bottle it with extra sugar to increase the sweetness. Picking a peach like this off the tree is as much of a waste as offering someone an aged single malt whisky after he’s been drinking cask wine all day
Firm– This peach will be ready shortly, it has the same feeling as a tennis ball, not soft but not solid. The meat has a little give but still needs to be ripened a little longer. You will find most peaches in the supermarket at this ripeness stage. This is the favoured way for most people of Yamanashi to eat their perfect peach, the crispness similar to a Japanese Nashi pear. For me though, I think holding off picking it for a couple more days and you will be grinning more than Ernest P Worrell when he saved Christmas.
Give– This peach is almost at its edge of its most powerful flavour, this is the ideal state as it holds it shape well. If you are eaten it fresh, for the ultimate peach experience give it a little longer to ripen to increase its sweetness. When you gently touch the peach you will slightly indent the skin. This the most ideal ripeness when buying your peaches as there will be limited bruising for you to deal with.
Soft– This is a peach that is ready to be eaten fresh. It will bruise slightly if you squeeze them so you really need to handle with care. The sweetness and softness is evident and is a great ripeness level to enjoy. In some varieties you can tear away the skin exposing the flesh and letting the juice run rampant on your tastebuds. This is my ideal ripeness level. You will understand the complex nature of the taste and understand why Yamanashi peaches are so highly sought after in the country. Believe it or not, Yamanashi peaches are given by the Japanese Yakuza as apology gifts!!
Juicy– This is a peach that explodes with juice when bitten into. It is overripe and most likely bruised already. They make to most ideal juices as they are heavy with juice and sugar with a superb peach flavour. You will not see this ripeness of peach for sale so its best to visit a farm in Yamanashi or become friends with peach farmers and offer them large amounts of Kagoshima Satsuma age as a gift so you can enjoy it.
Bruise– An area of the peach is flattened or indented. Just cut this piece out and enjoy the rest. I recommend adding these into Japanese curries or making chutneys, sauces and salads. For me the taste is a little too strong eating fresh but for other people this is as good as it gets.
The peaches are coming soon, if you are in Japan from late June to the end of August take some time away from the big cities and come visit Yamanashi to fill up your Instagram accounts of sexy peaches that I know you will remember eating for a long long time.