A picture of Delia's Peaches and nectarines ingredient

Peaches and nectarines

Oh, to be in either Spain or Italy when the peaches are ripe and fragrant and just about to fall from the trees.

The peach, beloved of artists, is a beauteous thing, with its deep-crimson, rosy bloom and voluptuous bright-yellow flesh oozing with juice. When we're lucky enough to eat them just like that – ready, ripe and warm from the sun – we need have no thought of recipes. But in this country, where peaches can't be grown on a large scale, we have to suffer tired imports picked too early, so that once the hard flesh becomes soft enough it has often turned woolly, dry and tasteless. Both nectarines and peaches come with white flesh, but the yellow, in my opinion, has more flavour. However, unripened peaches and their first cousin, nectarines, can be somewhat rescued in cooking, so poaching them in Marsala is a good idea.

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