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PEACH (PRUNUS PERSICA)

The Turkish word for peach, şeftali, comes from the Persian shaft-e alu, literally, “meaty plum.” In Central Asia, peaches were known as “fuzzy plums.” But the westward moving Turks were influenced by the Sogdians and Tadjiks in Maveraünnerhir and began calling this fuzzy plum şeftali. The words şeftalu or şeftali gradually caused them to forget the older Turkish word, erük. Later, the word spread as far as Anatolia. Believed to have spread out from China, the peach was considered there to be a symbol of long life and immortality, and thus found its way into clay and porcelain decoration there. Growing well in the hottest of climates, the peach was brought from Iran to Europe by the Spaniards. For this reason, the Romans called the fruit “Prunus persica,” or “Persian plum.” Two types are known in Turkey, one with white and the other with yellow flesh. The region of Bursa is famous for it large and juicy peaches that can be split into to exposing its seed.

 

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