Recently I was checking out the table of one of my favorite vendors at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market. I have bought several varieties of heirloom apples from her. But on this day she had a peach variety that I have heard about, but never had the chance to try. She recently planted some Elberta peach trees. This was the first year they were purposing fruit, so the peaches themselves were a bit on the small side.
Elberta peaches are among the most popular in the United States. They have a beautiful color, are freestone, hardy, disease resistant, and the trees grow quickly. So if they are so popular how come I have never seen them before. I think it is where Elbertas are popular elsehwere, in Michigan, Red Haven reigns as the most popular peach variety, shutting out the Elberta.
The Elberta peach has been around since the 1870s! It was developed by Samuel H. Rumph. The peach was named after his wife. It may have been the first peach to be shipped a great distance (from Georgia to New York). Samuel discovered the peach held up well when shipped. This peach is what really made Georgia into a peach state. It also had a hand in establishing the commercial fruit industry in the United States. So you have Samuel to thank for any fruit that you buy that is from outside your region.
My Experience with this Peach (Rating Scale 1-10)
Peach Flavor: 8
Overall Feeling: This peach has a wonderful flavor. I also found it to be quite juicy and on the acidic side. These peaches would be great canned or uses in a pie or any other baking application. There is a reason why this peach has been around for well over 100 years.
Where is the best place to buy a good peach? Click here to read my article on shopping for peaches.