I am going to rip the band-aid off - I don’t like Georgia peaches. That’s exactly what I said and I realize it’s blasphemy and I am willing to take the backlash for saying it. I thought there was something wrong with me. It hit me one day while standing in the peach section at the YDFM trying to figure out if I would be considered less of a sinner if I bought the New Jersey ones, because they aren’t as far away from here as the California ones, but I really wanted the California ones. Perhaps the ones from Alabama ? Nope, they’re almost just as lame. That’s when it just fell out of my mouth - ‘You know, I don’t like Georgia peaches’. Luckily Jim loves me unconditionally and to my surprise he concurred, ‘Me either.’ Phew, it’s not just me.
The Georgia peaches I have had are mealy and mushy. When you bite into them they sort of ooze, the skin doesn’t so much snap back as it acquiesces. Whereas their California cousins are firm, tart, sweet and delicious. The California peach is taught, that peach goes to the gym everyday; the Georgia one is flabby from sitting on the porch all day eating pimento cheese and boiled P-nuts.
I know I am not supposed to support an agrarian culture as far away as California in this locavore crazed day and age. And I’m sure it’s unGeorgia-otic to trash talk our major cash crop. But I’m sorry; until someone can get me a decent Georgia peach I am going to shamefully, when no one is looking, sneak those California peaches in my basket.
‘ Georgia Caprese’ Salad – Serves 4
2 peaches firm but ripe - sliced (I prefer California white peaches)
3 oz. goat cheese - sliced into disks
1 cup Arugula (a handful really)
2 teaspoons +/- balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons +/- extra virgin olive oil
12-16 basil leaves
Place arugula on plates, then stack, in layers, starting with peaches, basil, goat cheese. I usually go for 3 layers of peaches and basil and 2 layers of cheese. Drizzle each salad with 1/4 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon vinegar.
Notes: I find it’s easiest to cut the goat cheese into circles as opposed a crumbly, sticky messes, by removing it from the package and placing it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, then I use waxed dental floss to ‘slice’ it.