Peach Variety Big Red

by Dr. Desmond R. Layne, Peach Specialist, Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, Clemson University, 2011

Welcome back to "Everything About Peaches". Today is September 2, 2011 and we're here at my variety test block at James Cooley's farm in Chesnee, South Carolina. Last time, we featured Flameprince which is a yellow-fleshed, melting flesh type with a normal acidic tang. This time we're featuring Big Red.

In our Clemson University research trials over the last several years, the performance of Big Red has been excellent. Now, Big Red's origin is a little bit controversial -- that is in terms of where it came from and how it got into the industry. But the fact of the matter is that it has been freely available in the trade for a long time and it is a widely accepted variety here in the southeastern United States.

One of the reasons that Big Red is a good choice for this time of year is because its big! It averages 3 to 3 ½ inches in diameter. Sometimes it even gets bigger! It's a freestone, melting flesh type that has that normal acidic tang that we're looking for in a Southern peach. It has this yellow background and red overcolor or blush that gives it a very attractive appearance. When you cut through the skin into the flesh, you can see that its got beautiful yellow flesh. Look at that! Now, there may be some red pigmentation in the flesh, in particular around the pit and that's not a problem because those are anthocyanin pigments which are antioxidants which is an added health benefit for you.

Last time we featured Flameprince and it was a delicious peach. Lets see how Big Red tastes. Mmmmm. Now that's some good eating! Look at the juice. Look at my smile. I'll tell you what, being a peach specialist in South Carolina is just, I don't know what to say, its great! We've got 18 weeks of peaches and we're not done yet!

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