Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Percoche in Red Wine


with Enzo

This is a very hot summer and we haven’t seen rain for over three months.  Today in Lucca the temperature is 38 C (102 F) and the met people are forecasting that the temperature will increase further in the next few days. I need tons of water (possibly not at room temperature) but also something that quenches my thirst but with a little bit of substance.


In recent years I have seen around Tuscany a kind of peach, Percoca (plural percoche), which was very familiar to me when I was a boy in Naples. It is in fact only produced in that area. Unlike the common peach the percoca’s flesh is very firm and tends to adhere to the stone. But its main characteristic is that its intense flavour sublimates into a whiff that pervades the air especially at the peak of their season when the fruit arrives in the shops ripe from the tree.
In Naples people have found a way to trap this fragrance into a drink perfect for our hot days. This wonderful drink could be described as a sort of Neapolitan version of sangria.



What one needs is four or five percoche, a bottle of medium bodied red wine, and a fridge of course.
The percoche are cut in chunks, placed in a jug and covered with wine. Simple and one also have the most delicious pudding included.



Ingredients:
4/5 percoche or good quality (I mean strong flavour and firm flesh) peaches
1 bottle of good medium bodied red wine 12 to 12.5% alcohol – I have used a good middle of the range Chianti

Cut the percoche in chunks, not too small but obviously not too big, let’s say, about 1 inch?

Place the percoche in a capable jug and pour red wine on them and make sure that they are all immersed.

Put the jug in the fridge to rest and chill for at least 3 hours.


While resting the wine will acquire the most wonderful flavour and the percoche will be even better as they’ve been marinating. It seems a beautiful fair exchange. Pour the red liquid and  the percoche will splash into your glass.
In my time in Naples my mother made large jugs of them to accompany our long family Sunday meals. Even now I hear that in my city when somebody come up with the idea everybody gets instantly very excited and good mood springs out.

Cheers!



3 comments:

  1. Fa caldo sì ma io preferisco così piuttosto che pioggia...che fra poco arriverà! La sangria la bevvi a Barcellona, buonissima! Ciao, Arianna

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  2. that looks so delicious! even if it's getting cooler, I still think it's a lovely idea and very refreshing!

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