Eating Crow Re Grilled Peaches



It's my job to tell the truth here on Savoring Kentucky, and as a result I have the same Groundhog Day experience over and over: I keep having to own up to some prejudice that had stood in the way of getting to know Kentucky food in all its glory. It is handy to have a blog when I figure out the need for one of these attitude adjustments, as confessing my stubborness publicly seems to clear things up a bit faster than simply saying "Huh" to myself and moving on.

Today's subject is grilled peaches. After reading umpteen references to them in recipes and blog posts over the past six months, my "fad alert" had sounded, and I had begun to sneer at the very idea of grilled peaches -- mind you, without once tasting a single bit of the sneered-at object.

Short diversion: This is my foodie equivalent of turning up my nose at any blockbuster book I see repeatedly in other's hands and on others' end tables: surely I won't like that book, if so many other people do. I am so often wrong, once I get around to reading the book. You'd like an example? Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea, and its even better sequel, Stones Into Schools. Thank you, dear friend SH, for simply putting the first book in my hand and saying, "Read."

Which reminds me that I am here to make a confession about grilling "stone fruit" -- huge, beautiful Bounty peaches from Boyd Orchards in Woodford County, Kentucky. Yes, I thought grilling peaches was a silly fad, the foodie equivalent of "just because we can," and yes, I discovered, a bit late, that this method of cooking these fruits amounts to transforming something wonderful into something sublime. Readers -- I was so wrong.

Starting with the perfection that is a ripe summer peach, the grill adds some smokiness that frames the peaches' sweetness, offering a pleasing counterpoint. Grilling also seems to intensify that sweetness. In part, this may come from the warmth, since heat makes sweet things taste a bit sweeter. And in part, it may be that grilling drives off some liquid from the peaches and concentrates their sweet flavors a bit.

In any case, my prejudice disappeared with one bite of grilled peach. I regret that I waited until the very end of the 2010 peach season to discover this wonderful way to brighten just about any grilled meal, but I already look forward to 2011.

I thank the handsome grill-meister who cheerfully tried out grilling peaches alongside mahi-mahi and Stonecross Farm bratwursts for our Sunday family supper -- even though neither the griller nor I knew Grilled Peach Procedure. The results of the experiment served as the main ingredient for Grilled Peach-Jalapeño Salsa, which pleased our Sunday supper group, and perhaps will please you.

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The world is coming to visit central Kentucky this year for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. To help our visitors know more about Kentucky's food and food ways, Savoring Kentucky is rolling out 116 Savory Kentucky Bites, one for each of the 100 days before WEG begins, and 16 for the days during WEG, September 25 - October 10. Today's Savory Bite is number 70.