The curious peach

Illustration By Mark Stivers

Sometimes I feel like I could eat nothing but peaches in summer, once they are velvety-ripe and fragrant. The vision of Andrew Marvell’s poem “The Garden”—“The nectarine, and curious peach, / Into my hands themselves do reach”—is utterly alluring. We had peach trees when I was a kid, though, and I know the truth: You actually have to get up on a ladder and brave a fair bit of sticky, wasp-punctured, soft-rotted fruit to get the good ones. The peaches my dad grew at the edge of his almond orchard were Red Haven, a cling peach that drips with juice and flavor. Lately, I’ve been eating Suncrest peaches, from Good Humus Farm, and they measure up to the peaches of memory, particularly with a scattering of Blank Slate fromage blanc with honey (available, like the peaches, at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op). To answer a different poet, I definitely dare to eat peaches like these. Who wouldn’t?