One of the few things unfortunate about going to ALA Annual in New Orleans is that it meant four days without this year’s crop of stone fruit–a crop that’s generally been unusually good.
How good? Last year, there were no Bing cherries at all from local orchards. This year, the Bings are first-rate–and the Brooks cherries aren’t far behind.
New pluot varieties keep popping up, and some of this years’ (such as Flavorosa) are wonderful. Ditto the Modesto apricots, not all that much less glorious than Blenheims.
And then there are peachcots.
Peachcots? We’d never heard of them until a year or two ago. At this point, precisely one vendor at one of the two Farmers’ Markets we go to has them–and for all of one week. We got ours last week. We probably won’t get any more. This is sad.
You can guess the cross from the name: A cross between peach and apricot. What you can’t guess is either the look or the taste.
The look? Smooth skin like an apricot, size larger than most apricots but smaller than most peaches…and color like an apricot with red tinges that’s been rendered using oversaturated artificial colors. An apricot the way Andy Warhol might paint one, or perhaps what you’d get taking a picture of an apricot using high dynamic range filtering.
The taste…heaven. Just plain heaven. Very strong apricot flavor, some peach flavor, almost sweet enough to be candy, with a great texture. As with most apricots, it’s a freestone fruit, which makes cutting and serving easy.
I just finished off lunch with two apricots, ten cherries and a peachcot. The apricots were excellent. The cherries were better. The peachcot…well, it was in a category all its own. I’ll miss them.
Followup, July 8: To our considerable surprise and pleasure, the same booth had peachcots again yesterday. So it will be another week before I start missing them…