The ones that got away

New Zealand peacherine - almost as good as the Italian peach

I adore fruit. Our bowls are always full of whatever’s in season – particularly when their seasons are short.

Such it is with the New Zealander peacherine – a hybrid combining nectarine and peach. This is the only time of year they’re available but only for a few weeks. The flesh is golden orange – firmer than a peach and the skin less furry. Another thing in their favour is that you can eat them without juices running down your chin. Yummy!

As I crunched into the one pictured I was reminded of a trip last year to the Cinque Terre with my daughter. We had spent the day rambling along rustic paths between the villages of Vernazza and Riomaggiore and had returned famished , desperately in need of a cold dip in the bay. After racing up to our villa to change into swim suits we stopped at one of the little local delicatessens choosing two ripe peaches and two fresh figs to take down to the cove.

After a brief dip to cool down I clambered up to our towels and retrieved my golden red treasure from its white paper bag.

I sat on the rocks and bit into it. It was without doubt the most delicious I’d ever had. Sweet and intense, not too juicy  with deep red flesh such as I’d never seen before. I was in total food heaven savoring every mouthful, not wanting the pleasure to end.

My enjoyment of the fig was similar. Far more flavorsome than any I’d previously eaten.

We spent an hour or so swimming in the warm water watching the passing parade of tourists and locals, in boats or simply walking along enjoying the later afternoon sun.

When we finally decided we’d had enough, we stopped in again at the little deli. We were due to leave the next day and agreed that we just had to take some peaches with us for the long train journey.

We put the peaches in the small (and useless) fridge in our room with a promise to each other that we’d remember to take them out next day.

We had to catch the train early.

I guess you know what happens next …

We caught the train. A couple of hours later I said to Ket, “Come on, let’s have our peaches now?”

We’d made the train – they hadn’t. It was a long journey from Vernazza to Prague … five trains, two planes … it felt even longer without the peaches.

I’m still thinking about them. They get sweeter with each thought…

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