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Celebrate Peach Ice Cream Day!

July 14, 2016
Peaches

Sunday, July 17, is (unofficially) National Peach Ice Cream Day. Georgia was coined “The Peach State” in 1995 because of the state’s reputation for growing the superior quality fruit at the time. While no one really knows the origin of National Peach Ice Cream Day, its timing is perfect to enjoy the cool blend of fruit and cream on this hot summer weekend in Georgia.

According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the peak season for peaches is July so it’s no coincidence that National Peach Ice Cream Day is mid-July. While Georgia is no longer the largest producer of the fuzzy fruit, the peach remains an icon of the state — present in many streets and Georgia business logos.

Peaches Are Good For You

As a low-calorie fruit, peaches are packed with nutrients. Peaches contain vitamin A, C, E and K. They are also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and niacin. While nothing compares to the taste of a freshly picked peach, a recent study by the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, revealed that canned peaches have just as much nutrients as fresh peaches.

Peaches in Georgia’s History

Raphael Moses was among the first to market peaches in Georgia in 1851 and was the first grower to ship peaches outside of the South. He used champagne baskets to preserve the flavor of the fruit. This method contributed to his success and the popularity of peaches. However, the man often known as the “Father of the Georgia Peach Industry” is Samuel Henry Rumph.

Rumph, a Georgia peach grower from the late 1800’s, is credited with revolutionizing the peach industry with a new variety he named after his wife, Elberta. He invented a way to chill peach cargo on trains and soon began the Georgia peach boom.

Despite its nickname, “The Peach State,” Georgia is not the largest producers of peaches. In fact, South Carolina and California regularly surpass Georgia in peach production and China is actually the world’s biggest supplier of peaches. Associating peaches with Georgia is the result of great marketing. Currently, Georgia’s largest fruit export is blueberries.

Pick your Own Peaches In Georgia

Are you determined to make homemade peach ice cream using only the freshest picked peaches in Georgia? If you are interested in picking your own fruit, there are several farms in Georgia that allow you to do that. Georgia Grown keeps a list of farms and orchards that are open to the public. Of course, if you don't have time to pick your own fruit, you can always stop at a farmer's market or roadside fruit stand for locally grown peaches that are already plucked for you.

Peach Ice Cream Made Easy

What's a better way to celebrate National Peach Ice Cream Day than to churn it yourself? Or, buy it! Diced peaches make a great topping on your favorite ice cream flavor. Combine your favorite frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream with freshly chopped peaches. Let’s face it, we don’t need a national holiday to suggest we enjoy Georgia peaches. But it’s a good reminder to take advantage of the fresh local produce before the season ends!

May you have a peachy weekend!

Photo Courtesy Georgia Department of Economic Development

About the Author

April Lentini is the Content Strategist for GeorgiaGov. She empowers content managers for government agencies, helping them understand and improve their website content for optimal usability.

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