I am not a big fan of summer. The hot and humid weather can be unbearable at times. But at least we get a lot of good produce to enjoy during the summer, especially the peaches. Last year I got to review a ton of different varieties of peaches. Peach season here in Michigan begins near the end of July. But thanks to the wonderful people from Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, Georgia, I got to start my peach reviews early this year. I received a shipment of their GaLa peaches last week. No I am not mistaking apples for peaches. While Gala is a popular apple variety, there is also a GaLa peach (notice the capital "L"). This peach variety was a joint release from the USDA-ARS in Bryon, Georgia (Ga) the Louisiana Ag Experiment Station (La).
The GaLa peach is considered a semi-freestone peach. The softness of the peach determines how easy the pit comes out. The first couple peaches I ate, it was a little bit of work to get the stone out and usually a bit of flesh came with it, but as the peaches softened the stone came out without too much trouble and didn't take any flesh with it. The semi-freestone peaches mark the transition from clingstone to freestone. GaLa peaches are ready somewhere around June 4th. They are ready to harvest on average 5-6 days before the popular Red Haven peach.
The GaLa peach is large in size. The Georgia ones this year ended up being smaller than normal due to less rainfall. This variety also tends to oxidize at a slower rate, so they won't turn brown that fast after being sliced.
My Experience with this Peach (Rating Scale 1-10)
Peach Flavor: 8
Overall Feeling: GaLa peaches have a great peach flavor as well as being quite acidic, but not without some sweetness. I think these peaches would work really well in a peach pie. They are juicy enough, but not overly. Therefore you won't end up with too much juice in your pie. They are acidic enough to create a balanced dessert.
Care to have some fresh Georgia peaches shipped directly to your home? Visit Pearson Farm's website to make your order. They also sell peach products like salsa and preserves. If you are a fan of pecans, make sure to include some in your order.