Michigan’s Growing Fruit Craze: Donut Peaches
Fresh, sweet fruit is always good, but there are a few varieties that turn average fans into foodies. There's honeycrisp apples, cotton candy grapes and you can add donut peaches to that list too.
Donut peaches aren't new, but their popularity continues to grow. The fruit's flat donut shape draws some looks, but the sweet flavor is what makes them so popular.
Grange Fruit Farm in Rockford found a lot of excited fans when they announced their first donut peaches were available last week. They expect the donut peaches to remain available for a couple more weeks.
Donut peaches have a complicated history. They are descendants of wild pan tao/peento flat peaches from China which first arrived in the U.S. about 150 years ago.
In the 1960s - 1970s, Rutgers University developed them. It was one of thousands of hybrid plants they produce each year. The new peach was designed to be sweeter, juicier, bigger and more frost resistant. They called it the Saturn peach.
In the '80s the license to grow them was sold to a farm in Missouri. Soon, a specialty produce store got a hold of them and trademarked the name "donut peach."
In the early 2000s, the Missouri farm's exclusive license to sell donut peaches expired and the popular variety quickly spread across the country. Donut peaches continue to gain fans for its look, but more importantly, its taste.
Donut peaches are ready to pick in West Michigan. Enjoy them while you can!