South Carolina Peaches and Southern Hospitality

Four unpeeled SC peaches.
Four peaches from my home state, SC.

Ever since I can remember, my family always loved South Carolina peaches. There is just something about their juicy, sweet, peachy goodness, that sets them apart for me from all other peaches. (I have to interject here that some parts of Georgia and at least western parts of North Carolina grow the same peaches.) Since I grew up in South Carolina I will just talk about SC peaches. I love SC PEACHES!!

Peachy history

I just found out that peaches originated in 2000 BC and were written about as being a delight to the Chinese emperors of the 10th century. During the reign of the Persian Empire, Persian Apples (peaches) traveled with Persian traders and reached the Roman empire and that of Alexander the Great. Well Alexander the Great spread them wherever they had not been sampled before across Europe and everywhere else practically. Peaches eventually came across to America in SC in the 1600’s. The Native Americans spread the seeds as they traveled and that’s how they got all over our country.

So what is so peachy about South Carolina peaches?

SC peaches have made my home state the biggest peach producer on the Eastern part of our country, Georgia comes in second. But to me that only speaks to the goodness of these fruits, so full of vitamins and flavor. The SC peaches I found to generally be bigger, juicier, more flavorful, more enjoyable (Oops, I am prejudiced).some peach lovers described them as having a fruity, honey taste. The outside of the peach is also a beautiful pinkish color and the fruit itself has a marvelous aroma that lures your mind into a craving for more.

So on with the peachy hospitality.  

Since I live in North Carolina I make a trip to South Carolina to see family about every 6-8 weeks. When I can, I schedule a trip to SC during peach season. I usually buy one half of a peck to share with my family and friends here at my home. So after returning from one of these trips, I was eager to share my home state’s amazing peaches; just to see the faces of my family and friends as they savored the peachy flavor.

I was raised to always offer something to drink or eat to a guest, and being loaded with a good supply of peaches, when one of my son’s friends came over to visit, I figured he had never had the pleasure of tasting the SC juicy, wonderful peaches. So I asked if he would like some of the delectable peaches I brought back from SC.

“Oh… no thank you Mrs. Estes.”

I figured he didn’t want to “put me out” (Southern(?) expression for “inconvenience”). So I waited a little while and told him if he wanted to try one I would peel and cut it up.

“Oh, that’s nice of you but no.”

Sliced SC peachy goodness.
Sliced SC peachy goodness.

Perceiving his reticence as extreme politeness I prepared a couple of peaches for myself (and whoever else might want one) and offered him one last chance to enjoy even a taste of a wonderful succulent, sweet South Carolina peach. After all who could resist a South Carolina peach??!!

“No, that’s okay. I appreciate the offer.”

Okay, his loss, my gain. (lol!) None for him, more for me! I didn’t pester him any more.

Later my son came for another visit and told me that his friend had shared his encounter with me and my peach offerings. “She was like Betty Crocker on acid!”

Somehow this story got around to my son’s friends and I had a reputation….for offering peaches, water, or food to anyone who came to my house. But I still wonder if that nickname is remembered by the other people in my son’s group. Oh, well I bet he will regret someday not at least trying one bite!!

 

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22 thoughts on “South Carolina Peaches and Southern Hospitality

  1. When I lived in North Carolina I always looked forward to our neighbors annual visit south to visit their relatives and bring back those delicious South Carolina Peaches. A lovely post that brings back many a pleasant memory. 🐞

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Many do not know that there are many varieties of peaches, and that the varieties produce fruit for maybe 10 days ortwo weeks, followed by a different variety. The freestone peaches come in around the end of June or start of July. Opinion here: the tastiest variety is the O’Henry, a peach that shows up in early August. Not to be missed. The Big Red comes shortly thereafter and is a worthy competitor. I have been told that the perfect climate for peach growth is a place where the temperature drops to 40 degrees 100 times in the calendar year. This is one of the things that makes the Spartanburg County and Cherokee County peaches in SC superior to the “Sand Hill” peaches and other area. Not too besmirch other peaches; they are all good, but some are better than others. Most know that Georgia is the “Peach State”, and some know that more peaches are grown in Spartanburg County than in the entire state of Georgia. Ditto for Cherokee County.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The best we Northerners can do is wait for August, until our tree-ripened variety are at their perfect peak. I did, however, eat a peach for lunch today, and it was so juicy, it might have come from South Carolina 😀

    Thanks for your deliciously descriptive tale!

    Liked by 2 people

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