when first we flatten to deceive…


At this time of year Nature conspires with men to produce a contrariness in the flattened versions of some stoned fruit. A peach is a peach when it is suggestive; when its curves make one smile with greedy lust; when the sight of the soft fuzz on the peachy skin takes us sighing back to summers of our youth. It is hard to resist touching the shapely “jolies fesses” of the traditional peach; to gently press the warm flesh to confirm its readiness for the next step that will end with juice dribbling and finger licking. That is the peach moment; we have been inpeached. As with so many things libidinous the French language hits the spot – “j’ai la peche d’enfer” which literally translates as having the peach of hell, a truly wicked peach, a peach of a wicked peach but means, quite simply, “I’m feeling great…couldn’t be fucking better”…on a la peche. So, round sexy peaches are the business yet, sitting right next to them in the fruity seraglio are these little flattened, doughnutty dudes. Hard to take seriously but, as the song says “….never make a pretty woman your wife..” and one bite of this belle laide will put you straight. Flat peaches are dribbingly good: they have an intense peachiness that comes at the cost of not getting the wolf whistles but with the benefit of having admirers and addicts kneeling and begging for more. I am mad for flat peaches and I bought a whole tray of them for 2€; has there ever been a better purchase…apparently New York didn’t cost much but who wants a big apple when there is a bear market in flat peaches. The downside in bulk buying of ripe peaches in hot summer weather becomes almost instantly apparent…they’re not for the long haul so eat up.


Among the many benefits of the photography courses that I have run over the past few years is the quality of the food blogs of the alumnae. One of these is Emma at Fork and Pixel who is not only a wonderful cook but was also Highly Commended in the 2015 Pink Lady Food Photography Competition which is no mean achievement. Check out her delicious recipe for Peach Melba Squares. My version is Melba free as I had no raspberries but was still delicious….I still had to eat a lot of flat peaches so it is safe to say that “moi, j’ai la peche d’enfer”.



About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2015, Baking, cake, Cooking, desserts, Digital photography, Excellence, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Fruit, peaches, Photography, summer, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to when first we flatten to deceive…

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Peche d’enfer indeed! Peach skin reminds me of an attractive 20 something woman who used to let me stroke her velvet skirt when I was about 15. It was quite harmless, but a bit naughty and exciting at the same time. I think I need to go out and buy some peaches… 🙂

  2. Perfectly peachy Roger – my niece calls them hamburger peaches as she thinks they look like little squashed burgers. They are not very appreciated where we are in Spain becuase a local village is famous for its “normal” ones. Personally, I prefer the flat ones!

  3. Wonderful! I love “donut” peaches, but can’t tell you how many times some more “old-school” customers would comment to me at the market in France about how expensive these were compared to regular peaches!

    • I think the problem is that they’re very delicate, making them difficult to transport, and much quicker to start to rot.They’re much more available now than they were when we first came to France…and I love their eccentric appearance:)

  4. Thanks for the mention Roger. Proud to be one of your alumni! I agree that doughnut peaches are far superior to regular peaches! Is Spain they are thought to be inferior and my Spanish friend shocked that I got so excited when I found them in the supermarket!

  5. I think my co-op has these flattened peaches. I won’t pass by them again! 🙂

  6. Rosa de los Vientos says:

    Beautiful image of peaches. Well done, Roger.

  7. My father was a greengrocer and he always said doughnut peaches were far sweeter than ordinary peaches and even had a top note of vanilla. I wrote about Doughnut peaches in my July IMK (the ‘whats in my kitchen’ series by Celia at http://www.figjamandlimecordial.com that many food bloggers take part in). I bought doughnut nectarines today from Epsom market and they are delicious. Best wishes. Emma.

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    Perfect peach and pith too Roger.

  9. I love how you describe the peachy feelings, to me it is the fragrant of a real ripe peach that gets me mad, possibly picked freshly from a peach tree. I lived in a place with a peach tree on our porch, I spent most of time on a ladder, picking them and eating them right away, summer’s heaven! Somehow I don’t have a big passion for the flat one’s, I just love the roundness of peach, it feels good to hold them in the palm of my hand. Have a peachy summer!

  10. love the dappled light on the photo of the cake – and those flattened peaches – so hard to find down under

  11. Francesca says:

    The French language is so loaded with innuendo. As for flat peaches, I have never seen them here, but I look forward to the peach season, and a dish like this.

  12. cawleytanya says:

    I too am addicted to these fiesty little feasts to the point they can’t be kept in my house more than a day before I devour them, I’ll try your recipe this weekend Merci 🙂

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