Japanese peaches (momo 桃) are known to be some of the sweetest in the world. The most famous Japanese peach variety, the shimizu hakuto, can sell for thousands of yen a piece. There are many unique Asian food items on Airmart, but Japanese peaches are one of the most popular.
Of the more than 100 Japanese peach varieties, half originated from the peaches cultivated in the Fruit Kingdom of Okayama. The city is Japan’s largest producer of white peaches (like shimizu hakuto) and serves as the setting for the folk tale Momotaro the Peach Boy
The story follows an elderly couple who have never been able to have children. One day, the old woman is doing laundry in a river when she sees a giant peach floating in the water. When she brings it home to her husband, they find a little boy inside. The overjoyed couple names him Momotaro, or “son of a peach.”
Rare Japanese white peaches
Japanese people often give the shimizu hakuto or ‘white peaches’ from Okayama as gifts because of their rarity and cost.
Compared to most peaches, these white peaches have lower acidity, a larger size, and a stronger fragrance. With delicate pink skin and milky white flesh, the peaches are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Farmers cover these white peaches with paper bags when growing to keep them pale, sweet, and blemish-free.
Shimizu hakuto are only available from late July to mid-August. This short harvest season is part of the reason the fruits are so valuable.
How sweet are shimizu hakuto?
Shimizu hakuto come in three levels of sweetness. Fruit sweetness is measured on Brix fruit sugar content chart. You can find shimizu hakuto in ‘Ace’ which is 10 on the Brix scale, ‘King’ which is 11 Brix, and ‘Royal’ which is 12 Brix.
You can find royal white peaches at 180 Fruit Stand in Fresno, CA. 180 Fruit Stand is owned and operated by J.H. Family Ranch, a pesticide-free farm specializing in Asian produce. The stand sources additional produce from immigrant family-owned farms in the area.
Japanese Peach Desserts
In the summer, you’ll find white peaches like shimizu hakuto served in parfaits in Okayama cafes. White peach jellies, mochi, and soda drinks are also popular in Japanese stores. Kit Kat even had a white peach parfait flavor.
In North America, you can find shimizu hakuto tiramisu at the Cheese Garden cafes in Canada and San Diego, CA.
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, keep an eye on 180 Fruit Stand, which offers Japanese white peaches in the summer, starting in June. This Fresno fruit stand run by JH Family Ranch curates produce from small, local family-owned farms in the area. Everything they sell is pesticide-free. You can order Japanese peaches and other specialty fruit for delivery.
To see the latest offerings, ‘Follow’ the shop by signing up as an Airmart customer.
Check out the other specialty fruits we have this summer: