A peach with a lot of history in Alta Axarquía
Peaches are grown in Alta Axarquía since the last half of the XIX century. This fruit was brought to the village of Periana during that period. It is not a typical fruit of the region nor the province but, together with the verdial olive tree, it has managed to become a gastronomical symbol of this cozy region. According to what people of the village say, this summer fruit was introduced in the XIX century but a neighbour known as ‘El Rojo’. He brought it from Argentina. Some texts claim that ‘El Rojo’ tasted this fruit in the South American country and kept the seed to show it to his neighbours.
He later planted it and the first peach tree grew in the village. The new plant started to be famous among the farmers in Periana until it became one of the biggest exploitations in the 1970s. Many people consider this peach as the best quality peach in Spain. Its sweet and soft flavour differentiates it from other Spanish peaches and it is celebrated each year in the Day of the Peach, that is normally celebrated in the village during the month of August —although some years it was not possible to celebrate it.
The harvest of peaches had excellent results in Periana. Among other reasones, this good adaptation was due to the soft climate of the village in Alta Axarquía, with relatively abundant rain in winter but nice temperatures during the rest of the year. Another reason is the aquiferous richness of the territory, that is crossed by the Guaro river, that flows into La Viñuela reservoir. These elements could give this area of the province a fertility favourable for peach growing.
The growth of peaches became very succesful in Periana. Among other reasons, this good adaptation was due to the favourable weather of this village in Alta Axarquía, with plenty of rain in winter and nice temperatures in the rest of the seasons. The water abundance is also really important in Periana, that is bordered with the Genil river and located near the Viñuela reservoir. All these elements make fertile land that is perfect for peaches.
According to a legend, a neighbour from Periana known as ‘El Rojo’ was the first person to introduced peaches to the village. He took them from Argentina, where he went to visit his brother, who had emigrated years before that. There is where he tasted this fruit. He liked it so much that he kept the seed to show it to his neighbours. This seed was used to grow the first peach tree in Periana. Although this story is not confirmed, this is the version that the neighbours of Periana tell to explain the origin of the peach.
Peaches are a fruit that are very rich in fibre. They are, therefore, very useful to fight consipation and improve bowel transit. Among its mineral components we can find potasium, magnesium, phosphorus and even iodine. As its orange colour suggest, it is also an important source of carotenoids. The most common vitamin is vitamin C, although it contains vitamins A and E too. These three vitamins, together with selenium and zinc help avoid the aging of cells.