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Wild peaches still grow in China, where peaches got their start as
cultivated fruits. Peaches are drupes, fruits with hard stones that are members of the rose family. Marco Polo came upon peaches in his travels to China; peaches remain valued enough in traditional Chinese culture that a steamed roll in the shape of a peach ("shou-tao", long-life peach) is served on birthdays.
Peaches were introduced to the New World by the Spanish, and they spread more quickly through Native America than the Europeans did. By 1663, William Penn wrote that "there is not an Indian plantation without peaches, all very good and in great quantities", and peaches had established themselves in California by the late 1700s.
In addition to their heavenly presence in cobblers and pies, peaches can be used to create spicy salsas and relishes that are excellent with fish or really, with any grilled protein, including barbequed tofu. Peach honey results when peaches are boiled to a mush and the resulting strained liquid is cooked with sugar long enough to result in a celestial syrup the consistency of honey.
David Mas Masumoto's lyric book "Epitaph for a peach: four seasons on my family farm" (1996) tells the story of how a family peach farm was saved by going organic
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9oz jar of Old Fashion Peach Preserves, just like Grandma used to make!