by Dr. Desmond R. Layne, Peach Specialist, Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, Clemson University, 2011
Hey, I'm Desmond Layne, Peach Specialist at Clemson University. Welcome to the Clemson Tiger Peach Network.
Today is July 7, 2011 and it's our second season of "Everything About Peaches". Our series this summer is called "Peach Picks for South Carolina". Every week throughout the entire growing season we are featuring those very best cultivars that perform extremely well here in "The Tastier Peach" state.
It's a blazing hot Thursday morning here in Chesnee, SC at my variety test block at James Cooley's farm. My cameraman and I are both soaked in sweat -- and you know what? That just comes with the territory! But you can take a shower when you get home so it's O.K.
Last time, we featured Southern Pearl. Southern Pearl is a traditional, Southern-style, white-fleshed peach that has some acidity. The difference this week is that we are looking at White Lady! White Lady is a subacid type, white-fleshed peach which means it has a much more mellow flavor. It doesn't have that typical acidity. It was developed by Zaiger Genetics in Modesto, California. It was patented in 1986. Because the patent has now expired, you can freely propagate it. We typically harvest it in the state during the first or second week of July, depending on where you are located.
In our Clemson University research trials over the last several years, the performance of White Lady has been really good. White Lady typically averages between 2 ¾ to 3 inches in diameter. It has a very nice, uniform, round shape and a beautiful red overcolor (or blush). When you cut through the skin into the flesh you can see that it is a white flesh type. There aren't any pigments in the flesh of this particular one that I cut open but occasionally there might be and that's not a problem. If you see any red pigments in there, those are anthocyanin pigments which are antioxidants - which means there is a health benefit for you. Its' got beautiful creamy, white flesh.
Last week, Southern Pearl presented us with a little bit different white-peach taste because it had acidity - which gave some tanginess to it. This time, White Lady, being a subacid peach, its' a more mellow flavor -- its not so tangy but its also very delicious. In China, the subacid type peaches are what are most common. Asians and Hispanic people particularly like subacid type fruits because they are really sweet and they don't have that tanginess to them.
White Lady is a melting-flesh, freestone type that can be eaten firm at a crunchy stage or it can be allowed to hang longer on the tree until it gets soft. Either way, it's delicious! Let's see how this one tastes! Mmmmm, sweet like honey! There is no acidity to it -- hardly at all. Juicy, sweet, that's what you're looking for!
Why don't you join us next week when we'll feature another "Peach Pick for South Carolina"? You know that I love this job, right?! Being a peach specialist is filled with all kinds of great opportunities ... sometimes you just have to step up, you've got to kind of reach out, get out on a limb... It is a rough job, but somebody's got to do it!
For more educational videos and information about peaches, you can visit my "Everything About Peaches" website at www.clemson.edu/peach. And if you would like to read my columns for the American Fruit Grower magazine, you can visit their website at www.growingproduce.com.
For more information on gardening, landscaping, insect and disease problems on your plants, visit the Home & Garden Information Center web site at www.clemson.edu/hgic.
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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.