Product of the month: the peach

The peach is so much more than merely a fruit – particularly in its native China. Here, the peach has been revered and prized for thousands of years as the symbol of life, renewal and longevity.

This deep symbolism starts with the peach blossom, which has a special significance as they appear before the trees have leaves. Peach wood was used to drive out evil spirits, and for a long time, it was customary in China to place peach twigs outside front doors at the New Year precisely for this purpose.

The greatest fortune came to those lucky enough to eat one of the legendary peaches of immortality. These mythical fruit ripen only every 9000 years. When the time had come, the Queen Mother of the West, the divine owner of the garden where these mystic fruit grew, would invite all immortals to her orchard in the Kunlun Mountains to celebrate a grand banquet at which the peaches of immortality would be eaten.

While the peaches we are familiar with here may not make you immortal, their flavour continues to bewitch us as it has always done – as do the spectacular peach blossom in China, the world’s biggest producer of this divine fruit.