CHINESE FOOD: cuisine culture festival 食在中国

April 12, 2007

The fruit from China -peach

Many people like peach while they seem never get a close look at this fruit.

I was just thinking about this lovely-looking  fruits yesterday.And was wondering how long I haven’t taste that  succulent fruits .Although I could buy they in Macao from the supermarket or those fruit store .Frankly ,I even don’t notice if there is fresh peach.I have seem the peach tin everywhere.But I still miss the fresh ones

.180px-Nectarines_summer_2006 peach

This is a kind of peach ,and we call it Nectarines.

TIPS FOR NECTATINES 

The nectarine is a cultivar group of peach that has a smooth, fuzzless skin. Though grocers treat fuzzy peaches and nectarines as different fruits, they belong to the same species. Nectarines have arisen many times from fuzzy peaches, often as bud sports. Nectarines can be white, yellow, clingstone, or freestone. Regular peach trees occasionally produce a few nectarines, and vice versa. Their flesh is more easily bruised than fuzzy peaches. The history of the nectarine is unclear; the first recorded mention is from 1616 in England, but they had probably been grown much earlier in central Asia.

The city of Feng Hua ,which near my hometown Ningbo  is famous for it’s high quality juicy peach.

peach flowers

I still remember we went to the peach hills to pick them during that summer holiday ,probably eight or night years ago.That’s really a life-long-memory!The peaches are so fresh that I ate a lot till my stomach was suffering =)peach dessert

The history of peach 

The scientific name persica derives from an early European belief that peaches were native to Persia (now Iran). The modern botanical consensus is that they originate in China, and were introduced to Persia and the Mediterranean region along the Silk Road in early historical times, probably by about 2000 BC (Huxley et al. 1992)

 Culture

Peaches are known in China and Japan not only as a popular fruit but for the many folktales and traditions associated with it.

In China, the peach was said to be consumed by the immortals due to its mystic virtue of conferring longevity on all who ate them. The divinity Yu Huang, also called the Jade EmperorJADE EMPEROR CHINESE KING, and his mother called Xi Wangmu also known as Queen Mother of the West. Xi Wangmu ensured the gods’ everlasting existence by feeding them the peaches of immortality. The immortals residing in the palace of Xi Wangmu were said to celebrate an extravagant banquet called the Pantao Hui or “The Feast of Peaches”. The immortals waited six thousand years before gathering for this magnificent feast; the peach tree put forth leaves once every thousand years and it required another three thousand years for the fruit to ripen. Ivory statues depicting Xi Wangmu’s attendants often held three peaches.

The peach often plays an important part in Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life. One example is in the peach-gathering story of Zhang Daoling, who many say is the true founder of Taoism. Elder Zhang Guo, one of the Chinese Eight Immortals, is often depicted carrying a Peach of Immortality. The peach blossoms are also highly prized in Chinese culture, ranked slightly lower than mei blossom.

Due to its luscious taste and soft texture, in ancient China “peach” was also a slang word for “young bride”, and it has remained in many cultures as a way to define pretty young women (as in English, with peachy or peachy keen).


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