This Week We’re Reading The Peach Truck Cookbook by Jessica Rose and Stephen Rose

by Angela Garrison Zontek

In their first cookbook, Jessica and Stephen Rose ask readers to consider what peaches mean to them. For me, peaches mean all the wonders of a hot Georgia summer—bare feet, lightning bugs in mason jars, and lazy afternoons at the farmer’s market.

I grew up eating peaches off the tree, whole and unpeeled, or fried in a pie (usually at the county fair).  I’ve very little experience cooking with fruit, having always been something of a raw foods consumer, so this collection of recipes was a revelation. Who knew you could do so much with a couple of fresh, Georgia peaches?

Jessica + Stephen Rose, authors of The Peach Truck Cookbook

The Roses took great care in crafting this book and it shows. More than just a collection of beautiful photos and tempting recipes, The Peach Truck Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes for All Things Peach is also smart.  Cooks get a well-rounded education on the history of peach growers in the southern United States, the attributes of different varieties of peaches, and most importantly, how to care for fresh peaches. 

Oh, and along with beauty and brains, this book also serves up a big, warm, sweet serving of sentiment. Both Stephen’s hometown of Ft. Valley, Georgia, and their current home of Nashville, Tennessee, are mentioned with much love and admiration.  

                      The Peach Truck Cookbook

While Georgia may not produce the most peaches in the country, they do produce the most delicious. That’s why Jessica and Stephen fill their peach trucks with only the finest of Georgia produce. Once they turned the town of Nashville on to the fuzzy delights from Ft. Valley orchards, solving what Jessica called “Nashville’s peach problem,” they took their show on the road. Now, their peach trucks tour the south, midwest, and northeast, selling out to huge crowds hungry for a true southern delicacy. 

I suppose when we think of cooking with peaches, the first things that come to mind are pies and cobblers. Because of that,  the breakfast and small bite recipes were what delighted me most. Home cooks and bakers should prepare to be overwhelmed—I now have a stack of 15 recipes sitting on my desk that I’m desperate to try.

While I won’t be fortunate enough to buy a box from the Peach Truck, I do live in North Georgia, where the roadside stands are brimming with fresh local produce.

                        The Peach Truck Cookbook

The standout recipe for me was the Ginger Peach Smoothie. Peaches for breakfast? Yes, please! Breakfast has always been my favorite meal, and now that I have a family of my own, it means even more to me that the days begin with something inspired. I’m famous for brewing my own ginger tea, but I’ve never used ginger in a smoothie.                      

Admittedly, my biggest motivation was to lure my children away from their cereal boxes. Success! The Ginger Peach Smoothie is magical. Why have I never combined these two ingredients before? When the holidays roll around this year, I’ll be mixing up ginger peach snaps and ginger peach bread.  More standouts—peaches and pigskin anyone? This football season I’ll be serving Pickled Peach Deviled Eggs and Peach Jalapeno Cornbread. Well, the deviled eggs will hinge on my ability to not eat all the pickled peaches during the preparation (y’all, I’ve got a serious pickle problem).

I’m one of those people that orders pineapple and jalapeno on my pizza—don’t judge me—so the idea of a spicy peach cornbread has me making all kinds of plans. Do they make cast iron pans in the shape of a football? I need an amazing centerpiece to accompany my Heisman Trophy ice sculpture…

 

Jessica and Stephen Rose have put together a spectacular collection of peach inspired recipes. The Peach Truck Cookbook is gorgeous, sentimental, and very clever. It’s the rare type of book that will appeal to both the traditionalists and the edgiest of innovators. Make the most of this summer with a bag of fresh Georgia peaches and one inspired collection of recipes.

Stephen and Jessica Rose moved to Nashville in the summer of 2010, where they quickly discovered a disappointing lack of delicious, fresh peaches like those Stephen grew up enjoying in his Georgia hometown.  Jessica called it ‘the peach problem’. After lots of brainstorming and planning, the couple bought a 1964 Jeep to began bringing peaches home to Nashville – the Peach Truck was born.

Now, The Peach Truck not only tours across several states, but fresh Georgia peaches can be delivered right to your door.  The Peach Truck Cookbook is Stephen and Jessica’s first book. Learn more about the Peach Truck.

The Peach Truck was published on June 25, 2019 by Scribner Publishing.

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