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A long line of customers waits to pick up peaches at East Ridge Hardware at a previous visit by The Peach Truck. The store at 5337 Ringgold Road will be the second Chattanooga-area stop for fresh-picked deliveries on Saturday, scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon.

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The Peach Truck

The Peach Truck is traveling through Chattanooga this Saturday, selling fresh Georgia peaches at each of its pit stops.

New to the route this year is Vinterest Antiques in Hixson, and store co-owner Katherine Schurer says she and her vendors are planning a Peach Party to celebrate.

"We're an artisan store as well as having vintage and antiques," she says. "Some of our vendors will be bringing in peach-themed items that will be for sale too. We'll have some fun for the kids, with Paw Patrol's Chase and Marshall, and some peach-themed desserts to try for free."

Vinterest is down for a 4 o'clock stop, following earlier hourlong visits at The Barn Nursery at 9 a.m., East Ridge Hardware at 11 a.m. and the Ooltewah Tractor Supply at 1:30 p.m.

Peach Truck pit stops

Find more Tennessee stops at www.thepeachtruck.com/tour.

Saturday, June 15

9-10 a.m. The Barn Nursery, 1801 E. 24th St. Place

11 a.m.-noon. East Ridge Hardware, 5337 Ringgold Road

1:30-2:30 p.m. Tractor Supply Co., 9408 Apison Pike, Ooltewah

4-5 p.m. Vinterest Antiques, Hixson (Peach Party is 3:30-5:30 p.m.)

What to know

› No advance orders are taken. The truck is plentifully stocked, and there are no limits on how many boxes you can buy.

› Only half-bushel, 25-pound boxes of peaches are sold on the tour. Cost is $42. The truck also stocks a 10-ounce bag of pecans for $10 and the new “The Peach Truck Cookbook” for $25.

› You cannot pay with cash or check. The truck accepts credit and debit cards only.

› Boxes are filled by weight, so the number of peaches in the box may vary.

› Peaches are non-GMO (genetically modified organism). While not organic, they are minimally treated, and the farm is GAP-certified (Good Agricultural Practices).

 

 

A 25-pound box of peaches (half a bushel) costs $42. The truck also will have 10-ounce bags of shelled and halved pecans for $10 and the new "The Peach Truck Cookbook" for $25.

The recipes are "all new," says Stephen Rose, who co-owns the business with wife Jessica. "These are not on the website."

This is the seventh year for the Peach Truck's forays outside of Georgia. The Roses, residents of Nashville, established the business in 2012 to share the sweetness of Georgia peaches outside the Peach State. Stephen was raised in Peach County, Georgia, near a fifth-generation peach farm run by family friends.

Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, Georgia, supplies the peaches, and the Roses have set up a distribution system that now reaches into eight states. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development describes the enterprise as one of the most successful food businesses in the state.

"We're based out of Nashville, so we started the tour all over Tennessee," Rose says, "then added Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Michigan."

This year, they're also heading west to Texas and south to Florida.

Schurer contacted the Roses to be considered for a stop. Rose says the decision is usually based on whatever logistics they can map out as workable. The method is technology-based, though not exactly scientific.

"We literally get on Google Earth and look for a populated area that has a big parking lot that can host us," he says, laughing. "It's really that simple. It's definitely not a science at all. It'd be generous to call it that."

Multiple trucks enable the Roses to cover the widening distribution area, and shuttles from farm to trucks are coordinated to restock regularly with fresh-picked fruit.

Coordinating the schedule is "a logistical nightmare every single day," Rose says. "But that's what it takes to make sure the peaches are super fresh right off the tree."

Still, there's a certain amount of hype that comes with the haul. There's only one Peach State, but other states not only grow peaches but grow more peaches than Georgia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that in 2018, Georgia was fourth in peach production — trailing California, South Carolina and New Jersey. But with its reputation on the line, Georgia is unlikely to drop its sweet claim to fame.

Rose says it's all about the incomparable taste of a just-picked Georgia peach. And while the realities of mass distribution mean that a grocery store may get peaches or other produce that's several days, if not weeks, old, that's not an option for Peach Truck peaches.

"Growing up eating great peaches right off the tree, I got awful spoiled being able to taste the best peaches in the world," he says. "It's totally fine for most fruits and vegetables to spend that long off the tree, but peaches just can't handle it."

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

More Info

Here’s a selection of recipes from The Peach Truck owners Jessica N. Rose and Stephen K. Rose. Peach Phyllo Tarts, using two ingredients sold by The Peach Truck (peaches and pecans), comes from the website, ThePeachTruck.com. The other three, for Peach Caprese Salad, The Peach Truck BLP and Peach Dutch Baby, are from the newly released “The Peach Truck Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes for All Things Peach.”

Peach Phyllo Tarts

Desserts don’t have to be fancy or complicated to be delicious. But if they happen to look like they took some real skill to make, you can just keep that as your secret while your dinner guests heap on the compliments. These rustic “tarts” are made with store-bought phyllo dough sheets. They’re the paper-thin layers of dough that make baklava so crispy. For this recipe, we layered phyllo with sugar, spices and crunchy pecans and topped with half a peach. Serve it fresh from the oven with a scoop of ice cream for an easy dessert that looks like it was made by a pro. Serves 6.

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ cup chopped pecans

6 sheets phyllo dough

1 stick butter, melted

3 peaches, washed

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, spices and pecans, and set aside.

Begin to assemble the tarts by placing one sheet of phyllo on a clean surface and brushing with melted butter. Place another sheet directly on top, and brush it with butter and set it aside. Repeat this process two more times until you have three sets of buttered phyllo dough. Sprinkle each with ¼ of the sugar and pecan mixture, and stack the three sets on top of each other.

Cut the stack of sugared phyllo dough into 6 squares, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Halve the peaches, and remove the pit. Slice each half into 1/8-inch-thick slices, and press them lightly to shingle the slices. Using a spatula, lift each shingled peach half and place on a square of prepared phyllo.

Place in the center rack of the oven, and bake for 15 minutes or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and serve.

— From thepeachtruck.com

Peach Caprese Salad

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ pound fresh mozzarella, sliced

2 large peaches, sliced into rounds

2 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced

Small handful of fresh basil leaves

Flaky sea salt

Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, honey, shallot, kosher salt and pepper in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, and whisk until the dressing is emulsified.

Arrange the mozzarella, peaches, tomatoes and basil on a serving platter or individual plates. Drizzle with the dressing; sprinkle with flaky salt, and serve.

— Excerpted from “The Peach Truck Cookbook” by Jessica N. Rose and Stephen K. Rose. Copyright 2019 by S&J Rose LLC. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.

The Peach Truck BLP

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

4 tablespoons Duke’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon wildflower honey

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 slices bread, toasted

12 to 16 slices bacon, cooked until crispy

4 to 5 medium peaches, pitted and sliced ¼-inch-thick

4 to 8 Bibb lettuce leaves

Stir together the mayonnaise, honey and pepper in a small bowl, and spread the mixture on one side of each slice of bread.

Arrange the peach slices evenly over half the slices of bread.

On the remaining slices of bread, arrange the bacon slices and lettuce leaves, dividing them evenly.

Place the bacon-lettuce bread slices on top of the slices with the peach to form sandwiches, and enjoy.

— Excerpted from “The Peach Truck Cookbook” by Jessica N. Rose and Stephen K. Rose. Copyright 2019 by S&J Rose LLC. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.

Peach Dutch Baby

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup chopped peaches (about 1 medium)

3 large eggs

¾ cup whole milk

¾ cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

To serve:

2 cups sliced peaches, about 2 medium (optional)

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the chopped peaches and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar, and cook, stirring often, until the peaches begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove peaches from the skillet, and wipe the skillet clean. Place the skillet in hot oven for 10 minutes.

Blend the eggs, milk, flour, remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and salt in a blender until smooth.

Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the skillet, and swirl the skillet until the butter has melted. Pour the batter over the melted butter in the skillet without mixing it in. Spoon the caramelized peaches on top of batter. Transfer the skillet to the oven, and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately, topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and additional sliced fresh peaches, if desired.

— Excerpted from “The Peach Truck Cookbook” by Jessica N. Rose and Stephen K. Rose. Copyright 2019 by S&J Rose LLC. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Inc.

 

 

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