Ask anyone from various regions of the world. There’s always one thing grown local (or manufactured or brewed or smoked) and they will be FIERCELY passionate about it being the most perfect because it’s from their city/state/region. That ONE thing. I grew up in Idaho where the almighty spud is queen, don’t even talk to me about potatoes grown in Oregon or Long Island. WHAT?! Just no. Stop that blasphemy now.

Did you know? More peaches are grown in South Carolina than any other state.

Gaffney Peach Water Tower Image

Gaffney Peachoid Water Tower, photo credit: Flickr Creative-Commons,SavannahGrandfather

 

What about Georgia you ask? Nope. Turns out they just happen to have a better PR Machine. But really, I mean we have the Gaffney Peach and all. I’m making a judgment call right now. The BEST Peaches are found in South Carolina. There I said it.

When I recently brought up this little known peach fact—almost a secret—it sparked a fierce debate I wasn’t expecting.

Oh yeah? Well the best tomatoes are grown in New Jersey said Homeschool TravelingMom—Shannon Entin. That was a huge surprise to me since I thought the best tomatoes were grown in my mother’s garden? Who knew?

Day Trips TravelingMom Julie Bigboy claimed all things avocados for California, plus fish tacos and Mexican foods for the golden state. But Diana Rowe Traveling Grandmom TravelingMom refused to allow California to corner ALL Mexican food, she believes Colorado has mighty fine taco joints as well as, and I quote: “palisade peaches, Olathe sweet corn, rocky ford cantaloupe, lavender fields, and… marijuana. Rocky Mountain High, right?” Thanks for THAT, Diana.

At some point a brave soul dared mention their state’s ability to OWN the BBQ experience. Wow, them’s fightin’ words like no other. All reason and wisdom jumped out the window for a few minutes. People will defend their state’s version of BBQ to the death if need be. And I’m afraid they’re serious?

Not surprisingly, folks from Texas tend to shout the loudest about you know, how BIG the BBQ grows down there, we’re waiting for a roundup of WHY Texas BBQ is best from Rebecca Darling appropriately our Texas TravelingMom. But until then— Tennessee, North AND South Carolina all spoke up about their long love affairs with the seasonings, the rubs, smokers and grills. Nebraska was represented, and even a surprise nomination for the best BBQ possibly hailing from Chicago.

Hold on? CHICAGO?

Dear Megy Karydes, Foodie TravelingMom I will let you unequivocally win for deep dish pizza and Italian beef, but even this Idaho girl bows to the Southern States on the question of ‘Who’s Pig Tastes Tastier’?

On the off chance of getting shot, however, I do know a little ‘Southern’ BBQ joint located in rural Oregon. And I’d totally pit them against any down-South BBQ joint in a Smoke Off. Shhhh, it will be our little secret. I’ll come up and taste test your Chicago BBQ any day!

Where was I? Oh that’s right. South Carolina Peaches.

South Carolina Peaches

Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers

Peach season in SC starts the first week in June. JUNE! For all of you living north of the Mason-Dixon line; real, true, ripe peaches won’t make any sense in June. You’ll need to road trip down my way to enjoy peaches this good, this early.

Follow I-95 south, connect with I-77 and hang a left at the giant Baseball Water Tower in Fort Mill, SC. (We like themed water towers in my current adopted state.) Springs Farm is located here and been growing peaches in the family for generations. Their strawberries are amazing as well, but plan to trek down a couple weeks earlier and plan to stay long enough to bridge the two seasons.

A different variety of peaches arrives at The Spring Farm Stand ripened each week. Well into September there are still fresh peaches. Mind boggling for the high mountain desert girl inside of me. After two years I still haven’t gotten over it. Imagine a different amazing peach every time you venture into the farm stand?

TIP: Say yes to the soft-serve Peach Ice Cream Cone when you purchase your peaches, for $1.75, you’re welcome in advance.

For peaches this good, I needed a quick and easy recipe for a baked dessert. Something to impress The Instagram crowd. Er… I mean… impress my family. Adding my special touch of freshly picked rosemary from my own backyard and a pint of blackberries fresh from the CSA box—also from Springs Farm seemed to do the trick.

I give you Rosemary, Peach & Blackberry Crisp

Take that TEXAS!

peach blackberry rosemary crisp

Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers

FILLING

Spray a square pan with cooking spray. Peel and slice the peaches, 3-4 cups. Add a pint of blackberries (frozen would work well).

Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/3 Cup brown sugar over the fruit. Drip 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ¼ teaspoon salt over the fruit as well.

 

Using a fresh sprig of Rosemary, slightly bury it into the fruit mixture.

 

peach blackberry rosemary crisp-2

Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers

TOPPING

Using a fork mix together:

  • ¾ cube slightly softened butter
  • ¾ brown sugar, ¾ Cup oats
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • ½ Cup flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
peach blackberry rosemary crisp-3

Photo Credit: Carissa Rogers

Spread topping over the fruit and cook for 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the rosemary sprig and serve warm with ice cream or whip cream or both!