Peach Picks for South Carolina #8 Southern Pearl

 

Hey, I'm Desmond Layne, Peach Specialist at Clemson University.  Welcome to the Clemson Tiger Peach Network.

Today is July 1, 2011 and this is our second season of "Everything About Peaches". This summer's series is called "Peach Picks for South Carolina". Every week throughout the entire growing season we are going to be featuring those cultivars that perform the very best here in "The Tastier Peach" state.

We are here at my variety test block at James Cooley's Farm in Chesnee, SC.  Last time, we featured a traditional-style, Southern peach called Caroking!  This time, we are featuring a traditional white-fleshed peach, called Southern Pearl.  Southern Pearl was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture in Byron, Georgia.  The breeder was Dr. Dick Okie.  It was released to the public in 1997 and because it is a public release, you can propagate it freely. It typically ripens in the last week of June, depending on where you are located in the state.

In our Clemson University research trials over the last several years, Southern Pearl's performance has been very good.  

It typically averages between 2 to 3 inches in diameter.  Its' always got a beautiful shape and an excellent red overcolor (or blush). It is almost a rosy color - it is extremely pretty.  When you cut through the skin into the flesh you can see that it has white flesh.  Occasionally there may be some red pigmentation in the flesh.  These are anthocyanin pigments and they are excellent antioxidants - which means that there is a health benefit for you. 

Last week, one of the white-fleshed peaches that we featured was called Snowbrite.  Southern Pearl's a little bit different in the sense that it does have a normal amount acidity - which gives it some tanginess.  It is semi-freestone and its got a really nice aroma.  So let's see how it compares in taste.  Mmmmm, now that's a nice peach!  You've got a mixture of sweet and tangy and juicy.  That's an excellent eating experience - something you're looking for!  

Why don't you join us next week when we'll feature another "Peach Pick for South Carolina"?  You know, being a peach is too good to be true.  You can often get yourself into sticky situations - so make sure you've got your paper towel handy!  

For more educational videos and information about peaches, you should 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 go to their website at www.growingproduce.com.