Before California's Santa Clara Valley became a high-tech epicenter, it was a sea of fruit trees. And every summer, a postcard from one special orchard came to our house. The message was as brief as the season: White peaches and nectarines are ready. And off we would race to buy all we could eat fresh, plus enough for freezing to appease our passion for the rest of the year.
Even then, these fragile, incredibly perfumed stone fruit weren't that easy to find. Most growers eschewed their demanding care.
Finally, white nectarines just disappeared commercially, and the white peaches seemed to grow less tasty. That is, until a few years ago.
What happened? Growers in the San Joaquin Valley responded to a demand from the Asian market. The desire for flavorful white fruit prompted large plantings and the development of more varieties that ripen over a longer period. These orchards are just coming into full production, and now there are more white peaches and nectarines. The price is right, and it's time to indulge.