Crushed Peaches (1939)

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Sun Aug 5 00:21:13 UTC 2001

   Not in the OED.
   However, I believe that OED editor Jesse Sheidlower requested it.  I think he was at home with the little Sheidlowers recently when he said, "Honey, do we have crushed peaches?"
   From the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 7 November 1939, pg. 18, col. 6:

_Crushed-Peach Sauce Arrives_
_From South Carolina Orchards_
_Spartanburg's Fine Harvest Carries Natural Color_
   _and Flavor of Fresh Fruit; Grocery_
      _Sale Opens_
   By Clementine Paddleford
   Crushed peaches are the product of a new baby industry of Spartanburg County, S. C., that comes to the New York market after a flattering reception throughout New England.  The makers of the product boast this peach sauce carries the natural flavor of the fresh peach and the boast is no idle talk.
   "Like fresh peaches, crushed with a fork," is the unanimous decision of the Home Institute tasting staff.  We used it over angel cake, this topped with whipped cream.  We used it in meringue shells and as a spead on French toast.  Mix it lightly into puddings of rice or tapioca.  Serve it with hot or cold cereals.  Freeze it as a relish to serve with baked chicken or duck.  It makes a delicious ice cream that no one, not even the canner, could recognize as made of canned peach flesh.
   HOME-MADE TASTE--The peaches are crushed, but pieces remain large enough to set the teeth into.  The fruit is the color of gold; it has the sweetness of the finest of the Spartanburg peach crop and a plus flavor whhich comes from the kernel of the peach pit which is added in minute quantity.  It has a home-made look, a home-amde taste.  And should have, for it comes from the kitchen of Pleasant Gardens, the country home of Mrs. Mary H. Phifer, society editor of "The Spartanburg Herald Journal."
   PHIFER'S IDEA--It was in early spring of 1938 at dinner one evening in the Phifer home that the talk turned to peaches.  Already the fruit buds were swelling.  Soon the tips of green would change to glorious pink, then over night the countryside would throw out its snowy banners to the soft May breeze.  In a little moment the trees would be mantled with dense foliage, the whole county would take on a hopeful spirit as the peach crop ripened and the branches bent beneath their weight of fruit.  Thousands of bushels of fruit would hang in the Spartanburg orchards.  As the Phifers and their friends visioned the coming harvest and spoke of the goodness of their county's peach they remarked on the pity that the truly ripe, sun-warm flavor never could be captured for the can.  Half in fun one of the group suggested, "let's put it there.  That would be a service to the county."  The idea caught hold.  Friends and acquaintances shook their heads.  "Peaches," they told the Phifers, !
"canned from the crop in this se
ction do not keep their texture and the syrup grows cloudy."  Large packers had tried it again and again.
   But the Phifers are a strong-willed family and when the first peaches came along that summer they started experimenting in a back-yard kitchen.  Through June and July they canned peaches in at least fifty different ways.  One product, the crushed peach sauce, came through the canning ordeal perfect to behold.
   NEIGHBORS' APPROVAL--Spartanburg women who are exacting peach criterions, tasted and praised.  They commented on the natural flavor of the peach, the natural color.  Encouraged, the Phifers set about to carry out the idea for larger scale production in 1939.  A garden canning house was constructed.  A special machine for the work was developed by Cousin Edward Tennant, and when the peach harvest rolled in early last summer, the back-yard factory was set to go.  Fourteen men were employed, the Phifers themselves pitched in, and for two months were in peaches to their eyebrows.  At the end of the harvest season, thousands of cans were packed and stored.  New England housewives were first to approve this sauce.  Then by the special request of a New York department store grocery buyer, who discovered the product at a Down East weekend party, a shipment came here.  Five local shops offer crushed peaches this month.

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