July’s Recipe: It’s All About The Peaches!
An Easy Recipe to Make With Your Family
How about making something different with delicious peaches? We bring you a menu to make your summer days refreshing and tasty!
Easy Fruit Recipe ①
An Easy Recipe to Suit the Adults’ Palate
Have a whole lot of peaches at home? Take a look at this recipe!
Easy Fruit Recipe ②
A rejuvenating summer dish, that will go perfectly well with a glass of chilled wine, champagne, fuzzy carbonated water, and similar.
Easy Fruit Recipe ③
A respected French chef Auguste Escoffier, created this dessert for the singer Nellie Melba. This delicious treat has become a well-known classic ever since.
Created by Shinjuku Takano Fruit Coordinator
Peaches of Yamanashi Prefecture
It is the middle of April, and the peach trees are in full blossom here in Kofu Basin, now covered with a beautiful pink carpet.
The two reasons for which this area is Japan’s No.1 in producing tasty peaches, are the perfect environment for cultivating fruits, and the perfected cultivating skills of the passionate producers.
Almost everybody knows that Yamanashi Prefecture is where the tastiest (and the most of) peaches come from in Japan, with the best environment possible for their cultivation – long exposure to daylight, good quality water, the perfect ratio of cold and warm days, and other. Come and visit Kofu Basin in April, and you’ll witness a spectacular sight of full-blossoms of peach trees covering the area like a living carpet – the scenery ought to take you away from your everyday life, to some idyllic place, to Eden from the ancient stories.
Yamanashi Prefecture is also known for it being surrounded by many large mountains in every direction, including Mt. Fuji. The water collected at the foot of one of those mountains, as well as the long hours of daylight, make the best conditions for cultivating high-quality fruits. That is why this prefecture is also called “the fruits paradise” – they cultivate many kinds of fruits, among which are the heavenly peaches.
The first thing to cross your mind when peaches of Yamanashi are mentioned, surely is their vividly pink skin. You can find various peach brands in this area, from the early types that are collected in June, to the late brands, on you have to wait until August to enjoy their taste. Some of them are very well known for their mouth-watering deliciousness – Hikawa Hakuho, collected from the end of June; Hakuho, which you can relish from the middle of July; Asama Hakuto, on the market from the end of July; Natsukko, collected at the beginning of August, and many more.
It takes about two weeks to collect the peaches of one brand, so you can collect all brands one after another in continuation. About two months after the blossoms develop fully, collectors have to protect the fruit from the insects, so they cover them with cover bags. However, that way the fruit cannot get its trademark pink color, which is why they begin removing the covers right before the collecting period. The exposure to sun will get them that lovely pink look. Not only that but they even spread reflective mulches around so that every part of the peach gets sunlight (and the color) evenly. That is why the collecting period is the most exhausting and strength-consuming period for collectors. Especially when it comes to the removing of the covers, it varies depending on the brand and weather conditions, so it is very difficult to get the timing right, as it changes every year. If they remove it too quickly, the fruit’s skin might get damaged. On the other hand, if they remove the cover too late, the peach won’t get enough sunlight and the Yamanashi peach’s trademark pink won’t ever appear. So, we can say that the luxury of being able to savor so many different types of peach from June to August is all thanks to the selfless effort the producers put in cultivating and collecting these pink delicacies.
Although the color of the fruit is one of the signs during the collecting season, what makes the cultivator decide whether the fruit is ready to be picked is ultimately his or her own skill and experience. It is said that cultivators know whether the fruit is good to go in the basket, by only touching it, that is how they discern the collecting time. There even seem to be some experts who can even tell the level of ripeness by merely touching it! That is what makes Yamanashi peaches so special and exceptionally tasty; all manufacturers gathered there possess superb-level expertise.
Most of the peaches available for sale at Shinjuku Takano are from Yawata in Yamanashi City, Yamanashi Prefecture. It is common for fruit-sorting places to have sensors for measuring the sugar content in fruits, but Yawata district was first to have sensors for measuring the solidity and the ripeness level, as well, back in 1992. Nowadays, it is possible to measure the fruits’ level of sugar, the color, the size, and the level of ripeness all with one sensor only, so the producers take extra care not to let many people touch the fruit before the shipment. Picked peaches first get a cool-off time in a refrigerator on 5 degrees, then they get stored at 15 degrees, after which they are passed to the lanes sector where they go through a selection phase.
By keeping the fruits cool, it is possible to keep their freshness at the same level for a longer period of time – in this case, until they get on the market. In the selection phase, the good fruits first have to pass the “eye-check”, then the ripeness-level measuring sensor, to be sent for packing afterward. Only by going through a thorough and detailed procedure, is it possible to deliver the finest peaches, cultivated and gathered so earnestly and devotedly by the producers, to customers on the market.
From June to August every year, Yamanashi, Japan’s largest peach-producing prefecture, is hustling with cultivating, picking, and shipping many brands of the finest peaches Japan has to offer.It ought to be very interesting to find out what makes each of the brand different from the others, so how about spending some heavenly time in peach Eden this summer?
In collaboration with Shinjuku Takano