This may just be the ugliest peach in the world. But, underneath that fuzzy grizzled exterior is the peachiest flavor you could ever possibly encounter. It was grown, not in California like most of the peaches consumed in the United States, but, instead in Stonewall, Texas, a burg with a population of 469 best known for being the birthplace (and death place) of former president Lyndon Baines Johnson. We acquired it, and several of its brothers and sisters, at a roadside stand on the way back from camping last weekend.
In embracing this peach, I’ve been thinking about the psychological switch that must occur to embrace the local, sustainable, organic food that so many are talking about these days. The pasture-raised ham doesn’t look like, or cook like, the pink salty version that dominates in supermarkets. Nor does the bacon and eggs. We do eat partly with our eyes, after all, and, when I first saw this peach, it didn’t conjure in me anticipation of deliciousness. After eating a few, though, my lens shifted. No, it doesn’t taste like the beautiful giant peaches I get at the supermarket. Instead of tough, bland taste, I get soft juicy ultimate peach flavor. From now on, I’m keeping my eyes open for ugly peaches.