Cool off in the peach state this summer with these 7 icy treats.
Story by Karyn Wofford
Georgia-grown peaches are recognized for their flavor, texture, and appearance. Georgia, which is proudly nicknamed “the peach state,” designated the peach as its official state fruit in 1995.
Georgia ranks as one of the nation’s top four peach-producing states and harvests several different varietals of peaches from May to August. Come during peach season to load up on crates of peaches to enjoy at home.
Peaches can be found in a wide range of dishes from pastries to pizzas, salads to soups across Georgia. Of course, as summers get steamy the best way to enjoy a peach may be as a cold treat. These chilly favorites will cool you down and are certainly worth a detour. Plus, since June is National Dairy Month, it’s a good excuse to get out and enjoy some ice cream.
Jaemor Farms Must Try: Peach Ice Cream
Jaemor Farms, located just north of Gainesville, dates back to 1912 and grows 33 different types of peaches. Stop by anytime during peach season to stock up on fresh fruit as well as fried pies, baked goods and other treats. Once a season, enjoy an immersive U-Pick special event. “We are not set up to offer this all summer long,” says Caroline B. Lewallen, agritourism and marketing director. “We offer a U-Pick peach event one day only: the first Saturday of August.” The soft-serve ice cream refreshes all season, however. Pile a few smooth, fat swirls on a traditional cake cone and you can savor plenty of peachy goodness. More intensely-flavored, fresh peaches go into the treat during the peach season, but the wholesome ice cream is available year round. Judah Echols, a member of the family who started the farm, has been making the ice cream for 30 years. Plan A Trip… Visit Alto to dive into Georgia history at Fort Hollingsworth and taste fruit wines like Sweet A** Peach or Dry Blueberry at the quaint Sweet Acres Farm Winery.
At Jaemor Farms, which grows 33 different types of peaches, Judah Echols has been making delicious soft-serve peach ice cream for 30 years.
King of Pops Must Try: Peaches n’ Cream Popsicle
King of Pops was born in Atlanta and has expanded to other southern cities including Charleston and Nashville. In Atlanta you can buy the popsicles at iconic push-carts with rainbow umbrellas at Piedmont Park, at the King of Pops bar at Ponce City Market (where pops are submerged in cocktails!), at a serving window on Elizabeth Street, and at Whole Foods as well as other shops. The brand’s simple, pure popsicles come in a range of flavors, some seasonal. Formerly available exclusively from July to August, Peaches n’ Cream pops can now be enjoyed year-round. “Our Peaches n’ Cream pop blends beautiful, regionally-sourced peaches from Georgia and South Carolina with our grass-fed dairy, organic cane sugar, all natural vanilla extract and a touch of natural sea salt to create a fruity and creamy delight perfect for those hot summer nights,” says Diego Torres, marketing manager. He suggests submerging one into vodka, an old fashioned, or even an IPA. Plan A Trip… Visit Atlanta to explore the quirky art scene of Little Five Points, catch a show at Atlanta’s historic Fox Theatre, tour the Atlanta Botanical Garden, visit the Carter Center, see the aquarium that contains more aquatic life than any other in the world, and so much more.
Dickey Farms Must Try: Peach Ice Cream
Dickey Farms is an open-air agritourism experience just west of Macon. Peach season kicks off mid-May at this Georgia Heartland hot spot, which grows over ten different types of the fuzzy fruit. But Dickey Farms is best known for its award-winning frozen masterpiece. “Our peach ice cream is made from peaches grown and picked fresh right from our orchards,” says Stacy Dickey. “They are then pureed in-house where we make our homemade ice cream.” Tangy soft serve loaded with fruity bits is swirled into a crispy sugar or waffle cone. The abundance of puree adds depth and texture that some peach ice creams lack. Want to mix things up? Try a peach and strawberry swirled cone. Peach hand pies, fritters and bread are also made from the bountiful harvest; find them in the covered front porch market, where you can also take a peek at the harvest sorting machine out back. Plan A Trip… Visit Musella and you can explore several historic buildings around Dickey Farms. You can also enjoy a tour of the farm grounds and packing process.
Dickey Farms’ peach ice cream is a frozen masterpiece showcasing peaches from its orchards.
Cultured South Fermentation Company Must Try: Peach Ginger Kombucha
Brewmaster Melanie Wade produces delicious, fermented teas using her Grandma Golda’s original recipe. Her appealing flavor combinations like peach ginger can be found at over 100 Kroger and Whole Food markets under the Golda Kombucha label. Georgia’s first kombucha tap room and fermentation marketplace, Cultured South Fermentation Company, overlooks the Westside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The menu offers a range of items including handmade vegan cheese, but its main draw is the bubbly drink infused with local herbs and fruits. Peach Ginger Kombucha is a long-standing favorite with soft peach notes and a zing of ginger. To make this beverage, Wade uses peaches from Pearson Farms in Fort Valley. “We are Georgia’s first and finest kombucha company so it makes since to have a peach flavor,” she says.
Fun Foodie Fact: Per Se in New York, a renowned restaurant near Central Park known for sourcing only the most impeccable ingredients, also uses peaches from Pearson Farms. Plan A Trip… Visit Atlanta to explore its most famed beverage at The World of Coke. Where you can delve into interactive exhibits, watch a 4-D movie about the secret recipe, and sip Coke products from all around the world in an enormous tasting room.
Lane Southern Orchards Must Try: Peach Ice Cream with Peach Cobbler
Located about a half-hour drive south of Macon, Lane Southern Orchards is a multifaceted foodie destination with a café and market bursting with local flavors. Located on site, Peachtree Café & Bakery serves savory dishes like pecan-crusted catfish and chicken pot pie as well as sweet treats like fritters and pies. At the market, an overwhelming variety of pecan-, peach- and berry-laden goodies are available, but the peach ice cream is a lip-licking standout. The base has a strong vanilla presence while flavorful peach bits add a pleasant complexity. “We freeze our peaches during peach season, so we have the peach goodies year-round,” says Wendy R. Barton, marketing director. If you want to elevate the indulgence, try the peach ice cream atop the famous cobbler made with signature spiced peaches. Plan A Trip… Visit Fort Valley to enjoy over 100 acres of colorful blooms and foliage at Massee Lane Gardens. Stop by the Railroad Café located inside a historic train station for southern biscuits, eggs and grits.
Lane Southern Orchard’s peach ice cream is a lip-licking standout with strong vanilla notes and bright pops of peach.
Jake’s Ice Cream Must Try: Habanero Peach Ice Cream with Peach Cobbler
“We think our peach ice cream is sublime, very peachy, mainly because of the incredible peaches we have to work with,” says Jake Rothschild, founder of Jake’s Ice Creams. Peaches from Pearson Farms are infused into to a rich, all-natural dairy base with 18 percent butterfat then enhanced with sweet candied peach pieces. New “ahhh la mode” menu items enrich the experience, with decadent bakery items used as a base for ice cream rather than a cone. How does a gooey, warm peach cobbler drenched in icy Habanero Peach sound? Creative combinations like Peach Melba, Peaches and Herb with fresh mint, and Peachy Keen with strawberries are other options. Customers influence the flavor offerings, so if you’re hankering for something specific, send Jake’s a note! Since only use fresh peaches are used, these fruity flavors are available only when fresh produce is available. Plan A Trip… Visit Atlanta and indulge in eats like Chinese dumplings and local beer at Krog Street Market, a refined indoor marketplace and food hall. Try Ponce City Market for another indoor foodie experience, located within a historic shopping building; head up to the roof to find a small theme park with games and rides.
At Jake’s Ice Cream the “ahhh la mode” menu items swap out cones for decadent bakery items.
Chateau Elan Summer Wine Must Try: Peach White Wine
Two Georgia fruits combine to create a refreshing, light-bodied wine from the luxurious Chateau Elan Winery in Braselton, just north of Atlanta. Sweet Georgia muscadine wine is infused with peach essence to create its Summer Wine, which is delightful when served chilled. While classified as a dessert wine, its light profile pairs well with shrimp and other mild seafood dishes.
Grab a bottle to serve at your next barbecue, or simply enjoy the clean finish while watching pink and orange sunsets. Plan A Trip… Visit Braselton and stay at Chateau Elan Winery Resort for a full tasting experience and spa getaway. Relax, paint, and explore your creativity at Masterpiece Mixers Paint & Party Studio
Karyn Wofford writes about everything from travel to diabetes. She enjoys exploring unusual destinations and loves spending time outdoors and tasting authentic dishes and regional culinary treasures. In addition to freelance writing, she blogs at paramourexplore.com.
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