The Ancient Origin Of The Peach

Peaches are a summertime staple and a friend to sangrias and salads alike. This sweet, juicy fruit is enjoyed in smoothies, ice cream, and cobblers. As an added bonus, you can even reap health benefits by enjoying this fresh fruit. Taste of Home explains that peaches are low calorie and provide a great source of vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium. 

Thanks to those nutrients, they also state that enjoying peaches could help with weight loss, lower your risk of heart disease and improve digestive health. They could even help to improve your skin, as vitamin C has been shown to brighten dark circles and smooth wrinkles. Sounds like a win-win all the way around. But where do these magical fruits hail from?

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center states that the top states for peach production are California, Georgia, New Jersey, and South Carolina. Although Georgia's nickname is the "Peach State," China surpasses them in terms of peach growth and it is the country that peaches originally came from.

Peaches originated in China

Peaches originated in China and have been cultivated for around 4,000 years, according to Clemson University. They note that in an article published in 1081, 30 different varieties of peaches had been created through selective breeding. As early as 500 B.C., farmers were researching the optimal soil and fertilization for the best peach growing practices. By 2001, there were 495 different registered varieties of peaches in China.

Today, China has around three million acres of peach farming land — around 63% of the entire world — and produces mostly white, melting-flesh varieties. Clemson states many of China's peaches are now grown in greenhouses, alongside strawberry bushes. The Wall Street Journal reports Yangshan grows the best peaches — the Honey Peach. It's reportedly so juicy, it is recommended to eat them over a sink so you don't get juice all over the place.

In September 2021, the USDA predicted that in 2022, China would produce up to 16 million tons of peaches. Regardless of where your peaches come from, they are sure to be a sweet summer treat.