Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You're such a peach!

True story: When I first arrived in Atlanta about two years ago for a job interview, I was staying in a hotel in the northern portion of the city. I had made dinner plans with some relatives up in Woodstock, Georgia, who were driving down to pick me up and show me around town. But then they got lost. Apparently, it doesn't help telling someone you're staying along Peachtree Street near Route 400. There are just too many possibilities. So what should have been a relatively short commute took hours, as my poor cousins drove from hotel to hotel on one Peachtree Street to the next. On the other hand, the situation certainly generated a lot of laughter among hotel employees who told me that was my first "lesson learned" about driving in Atlanta.

For those that have never visited the ATL, there are about eight billion streets with Peachtree in the title. Okay, okay...I'm exaggerating. There are more like 70 streets in Atlanta with a Peachtree variation. For starters, we have Peachtree Street and West Peachtree Street, which run parallel to each other and only a block apart. And then there is Peachtree Battle Avenue, Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, Old Peachtree Road, Peachtree Way, Peachtree Creek Road, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Avenue, Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Drive, Peachtree Plaza, Peachtree Way, Peachtree Memorial Drive, New Peachtree Road, Peachtree Walk and Peachtree Valley Road. WHEW! And that's just off the top of my head. And yes, several of those streets DO intersect. Good times, I tell ya.

So what's the deal with all the dang peaches?

According to the always-trustworthy Wikipedia, Atlanta grew up on a site occupied by the Creek people, and the "peachtree" street was, in fact, not named for a peach tree, but for a large Creek settlement called Standing Pitch Tree after a tall lone tree. Reportedly, the Creek used trees with fresh pitch (the sap of a pine tree) for vows and treaties. The "pitch tree" was eventually transformed into "peach tree", either through error or simply because it sounded better to English speakers. So while peaches are commonly grown in northern Georgia and the Atlanta area, and although Georgia is the "Peach State," there was apparently no historical peach tree that led to the name.

Anyway, since I now live in the land of peaches, I suppose it's only fitting I celebrate National Peach Month before it ends in a couple days. That's right, folks, if you want to properly honor "the peach," whip up a tasty peach custard, pie or smoothie before Labor Day arrives. And because I'm such a peach, here are a few sucralose-sweetened, low-calorie tasty treats to help you honor Atlanta's favorite fruit. I say, take the Allman Brothers Band's advice and "eat a peach" this weekend.

Raspberry Peach Cobbler

Peach Flavored Green Tea Punch

Peach Frozen Yogurt

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