I remember the peaches of my youth. Mama and Daddy always bought certain things. I knew the name because they mentioned it often between themselves and to me.
For years, I have been sorely disappointed with most of the peaches I buy. When I finally hobbled back to the market, I bought peaches from one woman who assured me they were delicious and ripe. No, they were not delicious and not ripe. They were hard as a rock and a beautiful red and gold. They never ripened. Maybe they would be okay cooked, but I still did not have the peach experience I wanted.
About two weeks ago, I went to a different woman who volunteered she had several different varieties and showed me which were which. I had already spied the ones that looked right. She said they were Alberta. Or is it Elberta?
I paid $6 for 6 peaches. I thought it was an outrageous price but did not hesitate. Well, I did have a coupon. When I came home, I ate four of them at one sitting. Don't ever do that! I was stuffed.
Last week, I bought another basket of six and have eaten one each day for breakfast. There is one left. I am sad because the woman said they were gone this week.
Next year, I will be canning peaches, only Alberta/Elberta. My whole grocery budget for the month will lie in peaches. If I can find them anywhere else this year, I will can them in pints, maybe half-pints. That way, I won't be eating a whole quart in a day and a half.
If you have never had an Alberta/Elberta peach, you really need to try one. They are neither rock hard nor mushy as some ripe peaches are. They don't have really firm flesh, just a nice bite texture and great mouth feel. Of course, the flavor trumps all.
These have lasted for a week without going off at all. That counts for something when you want to leave them on the counter instead of refrigerating a peach to keep it edible. Of course, they come out of the basket and lie one layer on a platter.
My intention was to make a peach cobbler. Now, I would just as soon use store-canned peaches.
Have you ever had Alberta?Elberta peaches? Are you ever aware of the variety you buy? Do you love the experience of eating a fresh peach never refrigerated? What is your favorite way to eat/prepare peaches.