August 30, 2007


   Home Page

 News & Features


 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note





 Pop Culture



   Video Games
   CD Reviews




   Grazing Guide



   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts





 Find A Hippo




   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad




 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover

The buzz about peach fuzz
NH is a good place to grow Red Havens
By Lisa Brown

You can’t judge a peach by its fuzz.

“The ones in the northeast seem to be fuzzier than the ones down south, and why? I wouldn’t be able to guess,” said Rob Larocque, farmer and owner of Carter Hill Orchard in Concord.

Larocque knows peaches. He’s been growing them for more than 35 years. If the skin of the peach near the stem looks like a seam, the peach may not be quite as juicy inside, which is something to keep in mind when selecting peaches. Also, according to Larocque, if the seam is prominent, the pit inside the peach could be split. Call it good consumer advice, or call it peach trivia.

It’s peach season. Drive up the hill to Carter Hill Orchard, 73 Carter Hill, Concord, and there’s a slight perfume in the air, a sweetness that reminds you of freshly baked peach cobbler or peach pie with a dollop of vanilla ice cream melting off to the side. From now until the end of September, peach-lovers can get their fill of peaches. Larocque grows more than 23 different peach varieties, including the most popular, Red Haven and other Havens, all of which are sweet and juicy.

“The early peaches are smaller and the ones just in now, they are the Paul Friday variety — he has a whole line of peaches…,” Larocque said. Paul Friday is a prominent peach breeder in Michigan. He has developed a variety of peaches around the Red Haven peach, which is considered by many growers to be the premiere of the peaches. (Paul Friday peaches are sometimes called Flamin’ Fury peaches.)

The Red Haven “is the staple and it’s beginning to ripen now,” Larocque said. Its fruit is almost free from fuzz, medium-sized and noted for its all-over reddish orange color. It’s a juicy peach.

“This year the Red Haven is a little earlier than normal,” Larocque said.

On a typical day during peach season, Larocque’s crew will hand pick 1,500 to 2,000 pounds of peaches every other day.

“We pick them a little hard and then they will ripen,” Larocque said. Even though Carter Hill Orchard has acres full of peach trees, all the peaches picked stay at the farm stand. Larocque says there is enough local demand for his peaches that he doesn’t have to worry about supplying other stores. Growing peaches in New Hampshire has become more profitable to farmers as the types of peaches available to grow have become hardier and more freeze-resistant.

“It’s worth taking that chance [of losing a crop to a freeze] because more often than not you are going to get a peach crop,” Larocque said.

According to Larocque, most New Hampshire farmers can get up to a dollar more per pound for peaches than they can for apples.

“Before [Red Havens] we just had the older varieties, and now with the Red Havens and the Haven varieties, they can be planted and are hardy enough for the winter,” Larocque said.

While it is true you can find good peaches in the grocery store, chances are good you are not buying a fresh peach.

“A farm stand is going to pick what is ready that day, or [within] a day or two of being ready to be eaten,” Larocque said. “In a grocery store they would have had to pick them harder for shelf life, which means they are picked a week to ten days [earlier]; you’re taking your chances of the sugar content being there.”

Peach Cobbler
Rob Larocque laughs when asked for a good recipe for peach cobbler.
“Everybody’s mother’s recipe is the best.” Here then, is a recipe adapted from the one used by his wife, Annette Larocque.
Hint: Before peeling peaches, soak them first in hot water for a couple of minutes. This will loosen the skin and it will peel right off.

1 1/2 cups sugar (divide)
6 tbsp. melted margarine (divide)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sliced peaches (about three)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter 9 x 9 pan.
Mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, stir 3 tablespoons of margarine with 1/2 cup milk and mix until creamy. Add to dry ingredients and pour into pan. Add the sliced peaches over the batter. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar on top and pour on 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
Serves 4..

8/23/2007 Enjoy the Caribbean, sans hurricanes.

8/16/2007 Festival weekend
8/9/2007 Still time to scream
8/2/2007 Perfecting a pound of pasta
7/26/2007 Gourmet Concord?
7/19/2007 Tart treats of a New Hampshire summer
7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
6/21/2007 Spicy meat, grilled meat and saucy meat
6/14/2007 Holy Barbecue
6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
5/17/2007 Baklava, spanakopita and souvlaki — a.k.a. dinner
5/10/2007 Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
5/3/2007 New eats in bloom
4/26/2007 Pho sure
4/19/2007 Cakes, cow-free
4/12/2007 Serving up the first square
4/5/2007 More than just a chocolate bunny
3/29/2007 New 'nuches
3/22/2007 A taste of genuine sweetness
3/15/2007 From homemade to home business
3/8/2007 Shop the farmers' market year round
3/1/2007 Feeding Mama Kicks
2/22/2007 Keepers of the vino
2/15/2007 Noodly comfort food
2/8/2007 The luxury of osso bucco
2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
1/11/2007 Where the beef is, piled high and hot
1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
12/28/2006 The return of pasta and fall of the diet: the year in eats
12/21/2006 Organic on the ice
12/14/2006 French but not fussy
12/07/2006 Southeast U.S. culture, in sandwich form
11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
11/23/2006 Cityside adds class to conveniece
11/16/2006 Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
11/9/2006 The new classic
10/26/2006 Whip up a quiche
10/19/2006 A new way to crepe
10/12/2006 Comfort food for blokes and birds
10/05/2006 Smaller crop but still red and delicious
09/28/2006 The crunchier, lighter, healthier wrap
09/21/2006 City bagels in suburbia
09/14/2006 Cracking the custard code
09/07/2006 Eat your way down the block
08/31/2006 New flavors for an old summer dish
08/24/2006 Way down south in Hollis
08/17/2006 Frappe vs. milkshake
08/10/2006 Enjoy the bluest month
08/03/2006 Death of Toro
07/27/2006 Vacation on a plate
07/20/2006 Hitting barbecue big time
07/13/2006 Relishing the raspberry
07/06/2006 Are your edible souveneirs kosher?
06/29/2006 Fish, upscale
06/22/2006 Sweet rosey taste of summer
06/15/2006 When to pull out the EVOO
06/08/2006 What can you grill?
06/01/2006 Taste of downtown Nashua
05/25/2006 Deulge at farms
05/18/2006 Adorable and delicious
05/11/2006 Rub down
05/04/2006 Pinot to go
04/27/2006 A bit Italian, a bit egg foo young
04/20/2006 Meatier than breakfast...
04/13/2006 Let yourself eat cake
04/06/2006 Fear not the Risotto
03/30/2006 Making Friday a fishy delight
03/23/2006 The Thin Mints are here
03/16/2006 Divining your personality from pizza
03/09/2006 Cooking up a big bowl of comfort
03/02/2006 Dumplings demystified
02/23/2006 Carbs and comfort all the way
02/16/2006 She sells sushi by the sea shore
2/09/2006 Biting into the burger with bling
02/02/2006 Forget formal dining, head to the bar
01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
01/12/2006 Cooking up a pot of delayed gratification
01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch