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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Peach

HISTORY

The peach has long been a favorite throughout the world. It was first located in China as far back as the 10th century BC.


By the fifth century BC, the fruit had become a symbol of immortality to the Chinese. They placed bowls of peaches in the tombs of close family members to prevent the bodies from decaying. Giving the fruit as a gift was a sign of friendship.

After his 73BC victory over Mithridates VI, King of Pontus in northeast Asia Minor, the Roman general Lucullus adopted the lifestyle of the Greek influenced Middle East. when his army returned to Rome from Asia, they brought with them many new luxury foods, such peaches.

After arriving in Rome, the peach went to Spain, America and finally, to England, where at first it was considered to be a rare treat.

Peaches were once known as Persian apples.

1565 is the starting date of the first peach orchard in Florida. It became widespread in America, mostly due to the efforts of the Native Americans; it is now the second most common fruit produced by the US, (apples being the first.)



The first ever patent for a tree was issued to James Markham on February 16, 1932 for a peach tree, which ripens later than other varieties. Markham worked for Stark Bro's Nurseries & Orchards Co,  a horticultural company based in Louisiana, Missouri.

Peaches were the first fruit to be eaten on a different astronomical body to the Earth when it was eaten on the Moon, during the Apollo 11 mission.

FUN PEACH FACTS

There are 700 varieties of peaches. Low-acid white-fleshed peaches are the most popular kinds in China, Japan, and neighboring Asian countries, while Europeans and North Americans have historically favoured the acidic, yellow-fleshed cultivars.

The peach is a member of the rose family and will have a sweet fragrance when ripe. Other members of the rose family include apples, pears, plums and raspberries.

The United States provides about one-fourth (25%) of the world's total supply of fresh peaches.


Most peaches that are imported to the United States during winter months come from Chile.

Students from Leicester University showed that 2,425,907 seagulls would have been needed to lift a giant peach, not 501 as in Roald Dahl's story.

Sources Food For Thought by Ed Pearce, Muscatinejournal.com

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