Monday, September 26, 2016

Old friends

Most folks peel the fuzzy skin off a peach before eating it. I don’t, because that’s the way I like them. Had one this morning. It was soft, juicy; I did have to lean over the sink to eat it. Sweet, yes, a little, and, well, peachy-tasting. Polite comes to mind. Nice enough, I guess, for a total stranger.

I know some old peaches. I’m acquainted with J.H. Hale. Good friends with Elberta. Spent many a fine afternoon with Hale Haven. On a first name basis with Reliance, Red Haven, and a few others; trust ‘em with my taste buds.

But this one was a stranger.

I was a little leery when we purchased it. From another state, the sign said. It and its siblings were big, round, hard, fuzzy things. Looked ripe, but the guy said to let them sit on the counter for a week or so, and they’d “soften right up.”


Apparently, “soften right up” is the new ripe. Who knew? Anyway, we were out of peach jam, and this was all we could get.

So I asked for an introduction. “What’s its name?”

He looked at me kind of funny, but humored me. Looked it up. Rattled off a string of numbers.  “X323B, or F25R, or something like that.” I didn’t respond. “Freestone,” he said. “Midseason.” I waited. “Good market peach.” I nodded.

That’s nice. “Good market peach.” Growers like that. So do shippers. Commercial canners. Grocers. Farm stand owners. “Good market peach” means profit. Convenience. 401k. College loan payments.

Whatever. I understand. Really I do.

But “Good market peach” is not a benchmark for flavor.

And friends don’t have numbers.

Howard Tuckey                                                                                                     9/2016

No comments:

Post a Comment