Sweet, juicy, and good for you, this classic summer fruit is also surprisingly versatile -- as you'll see in our recipe for Peachy Chicken Salad.
Ah, the peach -- a classic sign of summer, a staple in warm-weather recipes for desserts and salads, an anticipated addition to farmers' markets and stands across the country from June through August. You may love this sweet, juicy fruit, but how much do you know much about its history or nutritional value -- or even about cooking with it? Read on to learn 10 healthy facts about peaches -- and then try our delicious recipe for Peachy Chicken Salad.
1. Peach origins: The fuzzy peach is actually a member of the rose family and originated in China.
2. Peaches on the Silk Road: The peach’s scientific name, Prunus persica, is a direct reference to the fruit’s travels to Persia along the Silk Road.
3. Peach varieties: You can buy two main varieties of peaches: clingstone (the flesh sticks to the stone) and freestone (the stone is easily separated from the flesh).
4. Peach colors: The peach can have yellow or white flesh, which is sweeter and less acidic than its more traditional golden counterpart.
5. Top peach growers: China is the largest producer of peaches, followed by Italy.
7. Biggest peach cobbler: "The world’s largest peach cobbler" is made every year in Georgia, which is known as the Peach State. That cobbler measures 11 feet by 5 feet.
8. "The Peach State": That would be the nickname for Georgia.
9. Peach season: Peaches are best from June to the end of August.
10. Peach ripeness: The flesh of a peach should have a slight give, but use your whole hand vs. fingertips to check since the fruit bruises so easily. Also, check for an even coloring of golden or creamy yellow.
Peachy Chicken Salad
Makes 4 servings
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 large peaches, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage (Napa, red, green, or substitute broccoli slaw)