About Okayama’s white peach
Okayama’s peaches are well-known among the Japanese for the folk tale of “Momotarou (Peach Boy)”, and peach blossoms represent Okayama as the “Prefectural Flower”.
Full-scale peach cultivation began in 1875 (Meiji Period), when peaches were brought to Okayama from China. With the gifted environmental features and the long hard work of the foregoers who acquired brilliant techniques, Okayama became one of Japan’s largest peach producers.
“White peaches” are grown with extra care; each fruit is covered with a small bag to protect the delicate soft white skin to ripen it to perfection. This process requires a lot of work, and is an important technique in cultivating the finest peaches. Comments like “I’ve never had peaches that are this soft and sweet.” and “Peaches made in Okayama are always delicious!” are the finest compliments for the peach producers in Okayama.
Variety of white peaches
There are a variety of white peaches; the ripening season and flavor differs according to each variety.
What other varieties of white peaches does Okayama have?
Of course, there’s more! Peaches are in season from June to September, which are referred to according to five different stages; very early harvest, early harvest, mid-season, late ripening and very late ripening.
Hanayome are small and very sweet. They ripen during the very early harvest stage, so we get to enjoy good peaches without waiting till summer.
With its beautiful reddish appearance it has fulfilled many peach lovers who just can’t wait until summer.
Hanayome are in season from late June till early July.
Hakuhou and Shimizu White Peach are the two most famous varieties. Many Hakuhou-lovers are dazzled with the soft texture, plentiful juice and rich sweetness.
OKAYAMA made Hakuhou especially have a high reputation with superb quality, rich sweetness and a refreshing aftertaste.
Hakuhou are in season from mid-July till late July.
【Shimizu White Peach】
Shimizu White Peach, which is the most famous variety, has a graceful color of pinkish milky white.It can be referred to as the ‘Queen of Peaches’, for it has a splendid blend of soft texture, juice and sweet fragrance.Many people anxiously wait for the Shimizu White Peach to be in the markets, and they are also popular to be sent as gifts as well.
Shimizu White Peach are in season from late July till mid-August.
【OKAYAMA Yume Hakutou】
It is a new variety which was given the name OKAYAMA Yume Hakutou, meaning Okayama’s dream.This peach is a large white peach with delicate flavor and clear sweetness.
Recently many people choose this type for it is a rather large variety; an average of 350g to 400g, and sometimes you can even find ones that are 500g!
OKAYAMA Yume Hakutou are in season in mid-August.
This is a beautifully white, ‘white peach’.
It will soon become one of the big names, with its soft texture, marvelous sweetness, rich juice and fragrance.
It is a popular gift because of its splendid flavor and appearance, but the season is very short, so don’t miss it!
Hakurei are in season from early August till mid-August.
Although it is not a white peach, this variety has become very popular recently.Some say that the golden colored fruit which has rich sweetness and slight sourness is similar to mango.
Of course you can enjoy it fresh, but there are also popular recipes such as jam or cake and cookie fillings. They are about 300g so they are rather large.
Golden Peach are in season from mid-August till mid-September.
How to enjoy peaches
If you cannot find any green colors on the stem of the peach, that means your peach is fully ripen. You should enjoy it right away. If you leave it in the refrigerator to cool for two hours before you eat it, you can enjoy it even better!
But be careful not to cool it too much. If you leave it in the refrigerator too long, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the flavor or sweetness. So if you can’t eat it right away, leave it in room temperature, but try to eat it as soon as possible. Avoid leaving it in the refrigerator too long, or under direct sunlight for the peach may rot.
The best way to enjoy peaches are eating them fresh, but if you have more than enough peaches, try making some fresh peach jam. Cook it in an enamel pot, with half the amount of granulated sugar of the peaches.
You can enjoy the jam along with some yogurt, or mix it with milk to make a refreshing drink!