It’s Peachy Keen!: The Peach

Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (www.sirwilliamwesley.com)

Ah, the peach, so many people lay claim to this sumptuous fruit. South Carolina has it as its state fruit, yet Georgia calls itself the “Peach State.” The peach is native to China, but it also has a history in Iran. It also happens to be the name of an adult entertainment empire! What is the deal with the peach? Surprisingly, it comes down to symbolism.

Let’s talk about China. The United States may produce peaches to eat, but China produces a lot of lore about the fruit! The peach may be one of the most potent symbols for the Chinese, although there is some definite sharing with Japan in regards to this. The peach tree’s fruit, blossoms, and wood are all linked to longevity, fertility, immortality, protective magic, marriage, youth, and spring. Peach wood was once widely used to create bows, talismans, and idols. Peach trees blossom early, which is why they are considered so fertile, and one assumes why peaches are linked to fertility. Of course in Chinese legend the peach tree tended by Xi Wang Mu, the Queen of Heaven, only bears fruit every three thousands years. That would be why many believe it to symbolize longevity. In addition, to Buddhists the peach is one of the three blessed fruits, along with the citrus and the pomegranate.

In the Western world, the peach can symbolize truthfulness. Check this out. In Renaissance art a peach with a leaf attached represented truthfulness. Why? This is too cool, the peach was representative of the human heart, and the leaf was the tongue. Therefore, a peach with a leaf on it showed a direct link between the heart and tongue, thus you were speaking directly from the heart.

Look at all this stuff! It boggles the mind how one little fruit can be associated with so many things! At the end of the day, here is my favorite aspect of peach symbolism from one of my favorite websites!

Peach Crisp
Ingredients:
6 cups peeled, sliced fresh peaches
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened

Instructions:
Place peaches in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; set aside.
Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Sprinkle mixture evenly over peaches in prepared dish.
Bake at 375 deg F for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
(recipe from www.yumyum.com)