WHAT IS THIS IN MY BAG?
Indian Blood Peach
You won't find this gem at the supermarket, but a little searching will bear fruitThis peach particular is coveted by chefs and foodies: the red-fleshed Indian Blood Peach. What separates this peach from its fuzzy brethren is that when fully ripe, this peach has a firm texture and is sweet yet slightly tart. Hastings considers it the single best peach for canning, pickling, and making chutney (though sinking your teeth right into the red-marbled flesh isn’t out of the question either). But first, of course, you have to locate some.
Spaniards introduced this novel peach to Mexico in the sixteenth century. By the next century, European explorers in southeastern North America were astonished to find this Old World fruit being grown by native tribes. This was possible because, unlike most fruit varieties that are maintained solely by complex methods of budding or grafting, the 'Indian Blood' can be grown easily from seed. Nomadic tribes and traders must have carried it north from Mexico. Thomas Jefferson ordered this variety in 1807 from Thomas Main, a Washington nurseryman, who described it as "very large and excellent."
The fruit, entirely splashed and mottled with scarlet, tigerlike stripes, is sometimes twelve inches round. The skin resembles a beet: scarlet, tough, stringy, meaty, although pleasantly flavored and brisk.
Text adapted from Fruit and Fruit Trees of Monticello by Peter J. Hatch.