Peach season is here. Peaches are my favorite fruit. Period. End of story. Strawberries, bananas, grapes, and blackberries fall into my top five. But there is a large delta between number one and the rest. Peaches, and especially Chilton County Alabama peaches, rule the fruit world at my house.
Chilton County peaches are coming in right now. We get a weekly shipment and my wife peels all of them and puts them in a bowl in the refrigerator where they will last a couple of days. It’s not that they wouldn’t last longer than a couple of days, it’s that I eat all of them in just a couple of days.
We place them in the bowl and sprinkle a little sugar on them. Not too much. I don’t want to macerate them, and if they’ve been purchased correctly there will be enough natural sweetness straight off the tree.
Fresh peaches are the food that inspires poets. They almost make our brutally hot summers worth living through. If anyone ever asks me about why I love the south, fresh peaches are listed early in the conversation.
I love fresh peaches so much I thought we would take a departure from my normal focus in this column, and do something I haven’t done in the 24 years I have been writing this weekly dispatch— use less essay and more recipes. Peaches are so special to me; I don’t want to just leave you with one recipe to cover the entire summer. Instead, here are several that you can use over the next several weeks during the height of peach season.