Sunday, June 17, 2007
Peaches # 19-21: Peach Battle!
Today was hot in Boulder - so hot that the middle of the day felt like hot jello. Not very pleasant. But it's part of the joy of summer, I think, to be desperately hot: it gives you an excuse to laze around and do nothing while you wait for the heat to lift.
So, instead of watching TV or playing a video-game or something else productive, I ate one peach after another until the day got cooler. Today my three peaches were at the perfect ratio of squishiness. A day later and they'd have been peach soup. A day earlier and I would have wished I'd waited a day more.
I had two 'conventional' peaches and one 'organic' peach. You know, the whole organic movement is really taking off - especially in Boulder where it seems to be the height of fashion to eat socially conscious macrobiotic permaculture produce. Now, the proponents of organic food will inevitably recite a laundry list of different reasons for buying organic, ranging from rants about how pesticides are part of a system of patriarchal oppression to verbal flotsam how GMO food reduces our intake of Absolute Spirit. I stop listening whenever someone gets a that very earnest very spiritual glaze over their eyes that signifies the death of reason. I care about one thing, and one thing only: taste.
Now, the peaches looked different. The organic peach was about half as big as the conventional peaches, and its skin was more taught. I ate the organic peach first, and found its flesh to be quite solid. It tasted sweet and juicy, but the taste wasn't simply sweet: when you eat a really good peach, you can taste some bottom notes of flowers, or citrus. And this was towards the higher end of peaches.
Then I tried the conventional peaches. The big difference is that the flavor was far more diluted, almost watery. They were less sweet, less complex, and mushier. Now, normally I prefer mushy peaches, but I think only because it can be a sign of ripeness. Compared with the organic peach, these peaches were just sloppy. Oddly enough, the flesh was a yellowy red closer to the skin, which was nice aesthetically, but it didn't really add up to a great peach. All in all, the conventional peaches were just a little more boring than the organic peach: the organic peach had more depth, sweetness, and texture.
So, oddly enough, the hippies are right: Organic really does taste better.