Cart Smarts: Colorado produces the peak of peaches
My youngest brother, Tommy, just finished a summer-long camp counselor experience in Colorado. He shared fascinating stories of trout fishing, mountain climbing and unforgettable campers.
I have never been there, but Colorado sounds like a pretty incredible place. I can't say that I would be adventurous enough to bike down a mountain like Tommy did, but I would love to visit for one simple reason — their peaches.
Colorado peaches hit the shelves in the produce department a couple weeks ago and I am thrilled. They truly live up to their reputation of being the best of the best. Colorado peaches are especially sweet and juicy. Plus, in my experience, they are freestone — meaning the pits separate easily from the fruit. This comes in handy for slicing and grilling.
Peaches belong to a special group of drupe fruits, more commonly referred to as stone fruits, named for their rock-hard pits inside. This group also includes nectarines, plums and apricots. Their growing season runs from May to September in the United States. That means you better take advantage of Colorado peaches for the next two weeks, before they're gone!
When you pick out the perfect peach at the grocery store, look for fuzzy skin and use the "thumb test." The fruit should yield to gentle pressure when ripe. And remember, if it smells sweet, it will taste sweet.
Allow your peaches to ripen on the counter at home. Don't put them in the fridge — they will get dry and mushy.
Nutritionally, they are filled with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, fiber and only 60 calories per medium peach.
So, what makes Colorado peaches so different? Their superiority is a result of the growing conditions, including high elevation (4,800 feet above sea level), mineral-rich soil and unique climate (cool, dry nights and long, warm days).
I won't be flying out to Colorado anytime soon, but I plan to live vicariously through Tommy's stories and the perfect juicy peach.