Food History is a resource for anybody interested in food history. Articles exploring various issues of food history will be featured regularly. Learning food history means that cultural study which involves multidisciplinary approaches from economics, sociology and demography, and even literature.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

History of peaches

Peaches and nectarines are the same species Prunus persica. China is the center of origin of peaches.  

Chinese literature dates its cultivation in China to 1000 BC, when book of poems and songs was written describing pink peach blossoms and peach tree with ripe fruit. The Romans acquired the peach from Persia and named the fruit persica, assuming Persia to have been the center of origin of peaches.

The Romans spread peaches throughout their empire.

The peach is said to have been first cultivated in England about the middle of the sixteenth century, Gerard describes several varieties of peach as growing in his garden. Tusser mentions it among his list of fruits in 1557.

Peaches were introduced to the New World following the Spanish conquest.

In North America, it was only after the American Revolution in the 1770s when clonal propagation of peaches became a common technique.

Several peach cultivars were released between the 1770s and 1860s from selected seedling of unknown parentage.

A number of cultivars of unknown origin were released in the first half of the 1800s including Early Crawford, Late Crawford and Oldmixon Cling.

About 1850, Charles Downing introduced peaches directly from China to North America, from which emerged the Chinese Cling.  After Civil War, Samuel Rumph planted Chinese Cling in Marshallville, Georgia and released two important cultivars from that field, Elberta and Belle of Georgia.

Chinese Cling and its seedlings such as Elberta, Belle of Georgia, J.H Hale and their derivatives became important peach cultivars throughout the USA.
History of peaches

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