Don’t be afraid – this is not Homer Simpson’s donut. This donut is not fried or powdered or sugared. It’s not meant to be dunked or hoarded or stuffed into some flour-covered, winking baker’s cardboard box. It’s not made out of dough (or Duho!) but grown on a tree.
Every year in early June, Dan heads south and east from the Bay Area searching for the perfect Donut Peach. As he climbs up across the Pacheco Pass and guides his truck into the flatlands of central California, he keeps his eyes peeled. It must be his keen fruit vision that works like superhero infrared, allowing him to pick out this squat and roundish target straight from the field. (Or it could be the Yahoo Maps he printed out before starting his journey.) Dan glides into Reedly, California, to find his treasure: flat, sweet, and happy.
What’s in a name?
These squat, white-fleshed peaches are called by many names nowadays. You may hear them referred to as Donuts, Saturns, Saucers, or even Frisbee Peaches (actually I just made that one up, but you can use it if you’d like.) They are descended from the flat peaches of China and were first grown in America in the late 1800s. They generally run up to 3 1/2 inches in diameter with a flat, round look that draws down and in at the center. The skin will be a pale yellow with a red blush. You can judge ripeness on this peach from both touch and smell. The aroma will increase as it nears perfection, and the skin will yield when you squeeze it. I find that you don’t want to let this fruit get too soft but should eat it when it begins to give to your touch but still has some firmness. These unique white peaches will be succulent and sweet.