“Scendi a prendere le pesche”, was my aunt’s order. I was 5. (Go to the market to get some peaches, pronounced pes-ke in Italian).
Quite proud to have been given such an important task, I reached the market stall only to be asked “Di che tipo?” by the vendor. (What kind?)
Gialle (yellow), giallone (big yellows), rosse (red), bianche (white), tabacchiere (“snuffbox”), not to mention all the different types of pesche-noci (nectarines). It’s almost enough to bring a 5 year old to tears of anxiety, panic, and paralysis.
No matter, all are delicious. Fragrances range from peach blossom to magnolia. Texture runs from melon to mango to apricot. Pick them up and sniff where the stem was, buy only the fragrant ones and make sure they’re soft if you plan on eating them today. The strange-looking squashed tabacchiere (pictured) from Eastern Sicily are a bit more expensive, but perhaps the most fragrant.
So how did it go? I remembered that my uncle always finished each meal with a peach cut up in a glass of white wine.
“Da vino!”, said the 5 year old. The vendor knew exactly what kind to give me (gialle), and with a proud grin I returned back home to lunch.