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."
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.