Posse… I got nothin’ …nothin’ but a kitchen full of peaches! It’s that time of year again – the time I both look forward to – and dread. The Red Haven tree – the first to ripen – has Lost Its Damb MIND! and omg! SO many peaches. I have made peach curd, peach salsa, macerated peaches (for freezing), peach pie… from the first garnet jewels to the ‘omg. MORE?’…
I’m kind of peached-out. But dealing with so many peaches got me to thinking about the actual smell and taste of peaches – and it’s weird, but when I did a deep dive into what I was tasting and smelling it struck me that peaches, like a lot of stone fruits, have a very mutable taste and smell, making me wonder if what I’m smelling and tasting is actually peach – or what I expect a peach to smell and taste like. Sometimes they can smell nearly fetid – and sometimes they smell of nearly nothing! (to be FAIR! this year’s weather didn’t help – we went from a wet Spring (yay!) to 2 months extreme drought/heat (ick) to torrential rains and heat, just as the peaches were ripening. The end result is very juicy peaches with diluted flavor (boo!). The curd I made with perfectly ripe Red Havens (one of the sweetest varieties for this region) and I didn’t want to use a squickton of sugar… it came out fine from a textural standpoint but there was little peach flavor (remember Howard Middleton of GBBO Season 4 and the Peachy Buns that didn’t taste of peach at all? I feel ya, Howard).
I was approaching despair… then I remembered that I’d bought a beentsy bottle of Aftelier Natural Peach Isolate – I put 2 drops in a small cup of the curd and BOOM! it suddenly tasted of peaches! Naturally, I dropped a few more drops in the rest of the curd and it was perfect. Whatever it is that Mandy conjured either really does amp the peach taste in a peach dish (it didn’t really swoon me when I tasted the isolate on its own)… or something in the scent (?) triggers that scent memory that translates to what I think a peach should taste like.
Really parsing peach? Peaches taste vaguely…sour. Not in a ‘bad’ way – but like the fetid note that comes in, there’s a sourness/thinness that requires quite a bit of support in order for a dish to taste peachy (think curds/pies/those buns of Howard’s could’ve used a bit of Mandy’s isolate. I would’ve slipped some into my Secret Watch Squirt Compartment (like Undercover Brother with the hot sauce) and just dropped some into the batter when Paul wasn’t looking because, let’s face it, he can be a bit of a dick.
Since peaches have taken over my life these past few weeks I thought I’d look at peach in perfumery (since, after all, it’s PERFUME Posse, not Baking Posse).. as luck would have it, Elena on Fragrantica just reviewed a new peach fragrance Gossip Night by Gritti
A very elegant review, it references Peach Melba, Bellinis, cream, a lost perfume love – It was called Croisette; it smelled of peaches in syrup, syrupy tuberose, honey, and venom. And you know she had me at ‘venom’ – but what is interesting is that same ‘syrupy peach v. fresh peach’ conundrum runs through this review, as well. I think it’s because peaches are a pain in the pits when it comes to flavor. Okay – I will stop banging on about that. In fact, I will stop banging on altogether because I have more peaches to process – but I would love to hear what YOU think about peaches (or stone fruit in general) – the scent/taste/texture/etc? How about in perfume? Do you find it an effective statement note in perfumery?
I’ll have M. Jacques poke a pawnail for a sample of the Gritti perfume (I didn’t even know this line existed) – side note, just for giggles: whilst researching peach notes I came upon a perfume called White Side Women by Louis Varel (another House that has eluded me)… I was entranced, thinking it was named after side pieces who happened to be Caucasian. Alas…
Obviously I need to think of better ways to occupy my brain.
surrendertochance.com has Gossip Night (and I’ll throw in Red Deer Grove’s White Peach, Because. I. Can), for the peach tart you’ll have to make it yourself – I’m done!!