Masumoto Peaches Are Here!
Masumoto Family Farms is a 4th generation family farm located in the Central San Joaquin Valley just south of Fresno, California. The entire family is involved in running the 80 acre farm of which 25 acres are devoted to growing stone fruit. This name is undoubtedly familiar to anyone in the Bay Area, as David “Mas” Masumoto is the author of many books including Epitaph for a Peach and most recently The Perfect Peach. He is also a well-respected contributor on many agricultural issues. The Masumotos have been growing organically and sustainably since the 1980’s. They strive to be “socially just, environmentally responsible, and economically viable” The Perfect Peach.
The Masumotos like all California farmers have the drought on their mind and are wondering how long their water reserves will last. Farmers are digging deeper for more wells on their land and hoping they will have enough water for their plants. Different regions of California have varying levels of water reserves due to rainfall, snowmelt and rivers to name a few. Masumoto Farms is located in the Central Valley where the ground water reserves have been good. Farmers in the nearby Sacramento region are lucky to be located where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers come together. Not every farming region in California is fortunate to have large amounts of water reserves. We are all hoping that the drought will be short and this winter will bring plentiful rains. The Masumotos have already started to make changes to save water by retiring 20% of their land and leaving some of their perennial crops to fallow. For the full story by Mas Masumoto in the Sacramento Bee click here.
The Masumotos live for peaches and Earl’s is now carrying the Flavor Crest yellow peach, a relative of the Sun Crest peach which is a hybrid of the best old heirloom varieties with a WOW flavor. It is a Freestone variety which means the fruit easily falls away from the pit when cut. The Flavor Crest is described in The Perfect Peach as “The peach you take home to meet your parents: solid, sweet, understanding, outstanding flavor, blush color”. I have one ripening up on my desk and the peach fragrance is intoxicating. The Peach Bruschetta recipe in the The Perfect Peach is on the menu today. An arugula pesto spread on crispy crostini, topped with ripe yellow peach slices and shaved parmesan cheese.
How to choose a peach:
Look for peaches with a yellow or golden background with a red blush. Test the ripeness of your peach by applying gentle pressure with the pads of your fingers. Peaches are delicate and bruise easily so be sure to handle them with care. If your peach gives slightly, it will be ready to eat in a few days. A peach that feels soft to the touch will be ready to eat immediately. Avoid peaches with a green background that have picked before they were ripe. A green peach that has been refrigerated will turn mealy at room temperature.
How to store peaches:
Peaches can be ripened at room temperature by storing them stem side down on a cotton cloth. Make sure they are not touching each other to avoid bruising. If you are not ready to eat your peaches you can delay the ripening process by storing them in the refrigerator for a few days.
We always recommend experimenting with your produce. Try ripening peaches to different degrees and discover what tastes the best. Every variety will ripen differently and have their own subtle nuances. Prolong the peach season by canning late season varieties and enjoy them all season long in sweet and savory dishes. Please share your favorite peach recipes on our Facebook page.