Fun Facts

Peaches

Although its botanical name Prunus Persica suggests the peach is native to Persia, peaches actually originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture. Peaches were cited in Chinese manuscripts dating as far back as the 1100 BC and were a favoured fruit of kings and emperors.

Its English name was derived originally from the Latin malum persicum, "Persian apple", which became the French pêche, then peach in Middle English

The peach was brought to India and Western Asia in ancient times. Alexander the Great introduced the fruit into Europe after he conquered the Persians. Then it was brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, and eventually made it to England and France in the 17th century, where it was a rare and prized treat.

The horticulturist George Minifie supposedly brought the first peaches from England to its North American colonies in the early 17th century, planting them at his Estate of Buckland in Virginia.

Various American Indian tribes are credited with spreading the peach tree across the United States, taking seeds along with them and planting as they roved the country.

Although Thomas Jefferson had peach trees at Monticello, United States farmers did not begin commercial production until the 19th century in Maryland, Delaware, Georgia and finally Virginia. California today grows 65% of peaches grown for commercial production in the United States, but the states of South Carolina, Georgia, and Washington also grow a significant amount. Italy, China, India and Greece are major producers of peaches outside of the United States.

Peaches should be stored at room temperature and refrigeration should be avoided as this can lessen the taste of the peach. Peaches do not ripen after being picked from the tree, so storing for ripening is not necessary.

Peaches are a good source of Vitamin C.

The United States provides about one-fourth (25%) of the world’s total supply of fresh peaches.

The peach is a member of the rose family and will have a sweet fragrance when ripe.

Peaches are the third most popular fruit grown in America.

Nectarines

The smooth-skinned nectarine is often referred to as a "shaved peach", "fuzzy-less peach" or "shaven peach" due to its lack of fuzz or short hairs. Though fuzzy peaches and nectarines are regarded commercially as different fruits, with nectarines often erroneously believed to be a crossbreed between peaches and plums, or a "peach with a plum skin", they belong to the same species as peaches. Several genetic studies have concluded nectarines are created due to a recessive gene, whereas a fuzzy peach skin is dominant. Nectarines have arisen many times from peach trees, often as bud sports.

As with peaches, nectarines can be white or yellow, and clingstone or freestone. On average, nectarines are slightly smaller and sweeter than peaches, but with much overlap. The lack of skin fuzz can make nectarine skins appear more reddish than those of peaches, contributing to the fruit's plum-like appearance. The lack of down on nectarines' skin also means their skin is more easily bruised than peaches.

The history of the nectarine is unclear; the first recorded mention in English is from 1616, but they had probably been grown much earlier within the native range of the peach in central and eastern Asia. Nectarines were introduced into the United States by David Fairchild of the Department of Agriculture in 1906.

Plums

Mature plum fruit may have a dusty-white coating that gives them a glaucous appearance and is easily rubbed off. This is an epicuticular wax coating and is known as "wax bloom". Dried plum fruits are called dried plums or prunes, although prunes are a distinct type of plum, and may have antedated the fruits now commonly known as plums

Grapes

Grapes are a type of berry that grow in clusters of 15 to 300, and can be crimson, black, dark blue, yellow, green, orange, and pink.

White grapes are actually green in color, and are evolutionarily derived from the purple grape. Mutations in two regulatory genes of white grapes turn off production of anthocyanins which are responsible for the color of purple grapes.

Cherries

The same chemicals that give tart cherries their color may relieve pain better than aspirin and ibuprofen in humans.

Eating about 20 tart cherries a day could reduce inflammatory pain and headache pain.

There are about 7,000 cherries on an average tart cherry tree (the number varies depending on the age of the tree, weather and growing conditions). It takes about 250 cherries to make a cherry pie, so each tree could produce enough cherries for 28 pies!

Apples

Apples are a member of the rose family.

Washington state grows the most apples in the U.S.

The apples from one tree can fill 20 boxes every year

Fresh apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air.

In the winter, apple trees need to "rest" for about 900-1,000 hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to flower and fruit properly.

There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples grown in the world

Apples are high in fiber.