It is a tradition very popular all around the country, that which sees Italians – mainly in the summer – eating peaches in wine, usually red wine, after having been left to rest for a while in the fridge both to cool off and so that all the flavors can mix perfectly.
Probably the tradition has its origins in the South of Italy where it may have started during the Spanish domination. On the other hand, we know very well that Spain is famous for the sangria, the recipe of which essentially sees fruit and wine combined.
The summer season is of course that in which the most amount of fruit is consumed, and peaches are no exception, thanks to the many varieties available in the country. And peaches in wine become a sort of eat-and-drink dessert, passed on from generation to generation and typically consumed after a meal or on hot summer evenings. Depending on the region the recipe can change, for example the wine might be white or there might be lemon juice, orange juice or even cinnamon.
In particular, the version with white wine includes a quick boil of the peaches, that are then peeled and cut while still warm, to then be put in a tall and deep jar, mixing it with sugar and adding the wine. After a couple of hours, the peaches in wine will be ready to be tasted in the best way possible.
Peaches in wine: from Naples to Sicily
In Naples tradition calls for the use of the percoca campana, a variety particularly compact and with a slightly sour taste. It is a mix between a peach and an apricot, easy to recognise thanks to its yellow skin with red hues, particularly smooth. Usually, a kilogram of percoche cut in small pieces is mixed with a litre of wine. In Sicily and Calabria the go-to fruit is the merendella peach, which comes with a white green pulp, or the tabacchiera peach.
Featured image: Valfrutta