My daughter Tess used to think she didn’t like peaches. But when she was nine and visited Italy, she changed her mind. We bought some lush peaches at the most charming frutta e verdura, “fruit and vegetable shop,” I had ever seen. The shop exterior was, appropriately, painted exactly the rosy blush color of a ripe peach. Folk art paintings of fruits and vegetables graced the windowpanes.
As we strolled by, the scent of peaches beckoned us, like those visible aromas that tickle the characters’ noses in cartoons. Inside the shop, the lettuces, radicchio, scallions, strawberries, cherries, onions, and peaches were arranged in an edible tapestry that would have impressed Martha Stewart.
Within moments Tess was in heaven, sweet golden juice dripping down her chin, eating a wondrous peach out of hand.
A day or two later, as we finished our midday meal at a family-run trattoria—not a fancy place at all—I wasn’t surprised when Tess ordered a fresh peach for dessert.