Pence Orchard peaches are finally coming to Metropolitan Market.
Last month's heat wave put a two-week delay on Metropolitan Market's Peach-O-Rama, the 10th-annual celebration of summer's juicy jewels.
A cashier at the Dash Point store told me that Pence Orchard's peaches arrived a couple of weeks ago but weren't up to sweet standards.
"Peaches take heat better than most things -- but not 110 degrees," grower Bert Pence told me today by telephone from eastern Washington, where it's a considerably cooler 91 degrees this afternoon. "That Regina variety, usually it's a very nice sweet high-brix wonderful peach. This year they were just OK."
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Pence didn't lose fruit sales. "I just wasn't able to sell them to some of the markets that are very finicky about the brix level of the fruit."
Brix is a measure of sugar content. Metropolitan Market likes 13-plus brix readings. The affected Reginas registered 9-10 brix.
Diamond Princes peaches from Pence's orchards near Union Gap have been shipped and are expected to arrive in Metropolitan Markets Tuesday.
Peach-O-Rama should be "in full force" by next week, a guy in Metropolitan's Proctor District produce section told me today.