Peach from OKAYAMA

Peach (Prunus persica Batsh)

Before the Meiji Era, peaches were appreciated for their light pink, fragrant flowers that bloom in early spring. The variety that bear fruit with a strong sweetness was imported from China around 1875, which led to its widespread across the country. There are many varieties that are unique to Japan, due to the short life span of the tree (15-20 years) and the active improvement of varieties. The peaches sold in Japan today can be broadly divided into two types according to the presence or absence of “hair” on their skins. The tastiness of peaches are explained by their crispy texture before ripening, their soft flesh when fully ripe, and the sweet juice, but their best attribute is said to be the moderate astringency. If it rains a lot during the ripening season, the astringency is lost and the sweetness of the peaches is not enhanced, resulting in a lighter overall impression. The best peaches are grown under strong sunshine, so strong that it could cause the tree to wither. The first fruit is large in size and has a strong sweetness. The second fruit has a beautiful shape and is sweet. The third fruit tend to be more acidic and has a good flavor balance for making jam.