Party on, Georgia peach lovers

I was lucky enough to participate in the judging of a peach cobbler contest last week, and now I’d like to share my good fortune with you.

The July 3 contest at Grant Park Farmers Market was part of Peach Jam, a two-market celebration of Georgia’s most esteemed fruit. On June 30, East Atlanta Village Farmers Market held a peach cocktail contest. Both markets featured peach-themed kid activities, chef demos, snacks, and a guy wearing a peach suit.

But the highlight at both events was definitely the peaches. They seem especially good this year: large, juicy and bursting with tangy-sweet flavor. Although it’s tempting to do nothing more to them than just eat them out of hand, peaches do serve well in a surprisingly broad range of recipes. Drinks, salsas, salads, sandwiches—all can benefit from a peach twist. I hear they’re good in pies and cobblers, too.

If you missed out on last week’s peachy festivities, or you’re not done celebrating yet, check out the PeachAPalooza this Saturday at East Lake Farmers Market. In this second annual cook-off, pros and amateurs match wits with a box of peaches from Pearson Farm, creating dishes both savory and sweet. Proceeds go to the East Lake Schools Coalition.

We’ll add a recipe or two from Peachapalooza next week. In the meantime, check out these winners from Peach Jam.

Image: Big Fuzzy, photo courtesy Elizabeth Johnston