The Chinese Peach Dilemma
All summer I’ve been thinking the question what to do about Chinese peaches?
Peaches are probably the most commonly found fruit here this time of year. Chinese peaches are gorgeous– unlike ours, which are more vibrantly red and yellow, theirs are almost white with a pinkish-mauve blush. They’re certainly much prettier than ours, and in the Monkey King, there’s even a story when he steals peaches from one of the heavenly peach gardens, and so becomes immortal.
In my opinion, most of the peaches in American and European supermarkets and fruit stands are already overripe, so that by the time they’ve been sitting around in your room or bag, they’ve turned to mush (although they do make your hands smell nice). In China, we have the opposite problem, since the Chinese prefer to eat their peaches drastically underripe and crunchy, like apples. I’ve found that so far the only solution is to wait for them to ripen, but even so, they never seem to get as soft as Western peaches. So what is there to do?
Today, since we were out of bananas, I decided I wanted peaches in my oatmeal. So I quickly simmered them in some water and brown sugar (you could also use butter for decadence) until they were soft– at least, as soft as these peaches can get. Then added them to the oats and heated. They were much better that way, but I think the peach was still underripe to begin with– it lacked that fragrance that it’s supposed to have. Still, cooking them is definitely a thought!
Another interesting thing… I accidentally microwaved (I don’t use the stove much here because it only has a high flame) the oatmeal for too long, so that the milk started foaming… then when I took it out of the microwave, the foam didn’t sink down! Instead it stayed there, like an oatmeal cappuccino. It was quite interesting.