Current Weather
The Spy FM

Sweet Lessons From A South Carolina Peach Professor

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
August 18, 2011

Desmond Layne may just have the best job in America. He’s a peach specialist at Clemson University in South Carolina — and a fruit video star. Layne posts weekly videos from out in the orchard, where he samples his peach pick of the week.

In a recent video, he bites into a peach of the Winblo variety, and then collapses to the ground in ecstasy: “This is paradise!” he exclaims. “Sweet, juicy, it melts in your mouth. Winblo is like the perfect peach: Creamy texture, awesome peach smell — what more could you ask for?”

Layne has tasted countless varieties of the fruit, but says Winblo is the One. It’s “a peach that will just sorta knock your socks off,” he tells NPR’s Melissa Block.

You’d think that Layne might run out of ways to describe peaches to his online viewers, but he finds ways to get his point across: “Drips off your elbows, drips off your chin, drips off your face, drips onto your shirt, onto your pants, onto your shoes … We just want the consumer to know out there, that this is an awesome fruit and it’s a great time of year.”

Unlike apples and pears, peaches in chain supermarkets aren’t labeled by variety — they’re simply identified as “white peaches” or “yellow peaches. That’s because different varieties of peaches hit their two-week ripeness window throughout the summer, Layne explains. “We don’t typically store them for long periods of time like we do other fruits.”

A peach can be deceiving; it will look and smell ripe, but when you bite into it, it can be hard or tasteless or mealy. If you’re picking your peaches in a supermarket rather than an orchard, Layne offers some tips: “Put it up to your nose and smell it; it should have a good peach smell,” he says. And give it a gentle squeeze, too — the fruit should give a little under the pressure of your fingertips. And don’t forget to look at the label to see where the peach was grown.

“Consider where the fruit came from,” Layne says. “If it came from 3,000 miles away, then bare in mind that it was probably picked at a much more immature stage and it’s not going to be as ripe and delicious. If it came from a neighboring state, it’s probably a whole lot riper.” [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

12AM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center