Recently, the first batch of Pinggu peaches which can be eaten either soft or hard were sent to Hema Fresh. Because this variety has the crispness and sweetness of northern peaches and the softness of southern peaches, it is favored by the public as soon as it comes on the market.
In the Hema Fresh store, a peach "firmness standard" display board has been placed in the fruit area of the store. Fang Ming, a Fruit Purchasing Manager at Hema Fresh, said that since Hema has more than 30 varieties of peaches for sale this year, when the production season is concentrated, more than 10 varieties are available at the same time, causing many consumers to have "choice phobia". Hema Fresh, therefore, released a "firmness standard" for peaches for the convenience of customers.
Hema Fresh has classified the firmness of peaches into 10 grades. The higher the number, the harder the peaches. "The staff at Hema Fresh, based on the variety, planting area and other factors, use more than ten years of experience to make a preliminary judgment, and then cooperate with a special hardness tester to sample each batch of peaches, and then take the average value as the final value."
For consumers, who like to take a bite of crunchy and hard peaches, they can choose varieties with a firmness of more than 8, such as Beijing's Pinggu peaches and yellow-fleshed nectarines. The value for "soft peach" is below 4, and the Yangshan peach is between 2-3, with a delicate taste of "melting in the mouth".
However, there is also a new Pinggu peach that can be flexible. The staff from the supplier said that most hard peaches will become stale or even rotten after being left out for a few days. However, at the beginning of the harvest, the average hardness of this variety is about 7.5-8; when stored at room temperature in a cool and ventilated place, the peach will "continue to mature" and complete the final softening. After about 2 days of storage, the hardness will be reduced to below 5, leaving the soft and waxy taste of peach.
In order to achieve this change in taste, the Beijing Jinguofeng Fruit Production and Marketing Professional Cooperative has nearly tripled the organic-matter value content after 13 years of soil cultivation. The peach trees were cultivated three years ago in cooperation with the Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. Zhang Haihe, the head of the cooperative, said that after grafting and improving the traditional Pinggu peach, this peach has a higher organic matter content. After being stored at room temperature in the dark for a few days, the “hard peach becomes soft".