“This is a very special book, not just because it’s about peaches and the surprising things you can do with them, but because it’s also about growing peaches, the farming life, and most uniquely, because it’s composed by a family.” — Deborah Madison
Masumoto Family Farm is a fourth-generation family farm located twenty miles south of Fresno, in the heart of California’s great Central Valley. Over the years, the Land Library has happily followed the farm’s progress through the pages of David Mas Masumoto’s many books, starting with Epitaph for a Peach, and most recently Wisdom of the Last Farmer.
Now along comes one of our favorite new books of the year — The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm by Marcy, Nikiko, and David Mas Masumoto. Here’s Mas and Marcy’s daughter Nikiko describing their brilliantly conceived book:
“Just to be clear, we Masumotos have an agenda. We want more people to love peaches. This book is part of our ongoing attempt to share our love with a wider audience. We want to empower everyone to cook and eat peaches. You will find recipes, essays, snippets of stories, and kitchen tips woven throughout this book. We think of it as a literary cookbook. Our desire is that you will savor reading it in two ways. We hope that you will enjoy our recipes and that they contribute to wonderful shared meals and your own creation in your home kitchen. We also hope that you enjoy parts of the book like a novel — a way to learn about farming from the voices of people who actually work the earth and understand more about the realities we live while growing peaches…”
The authors of The Perfect Peach: Mas, Nikiko, and Marcy Masumoto
The recipes in The Perfect Peach have us counting the days before Colorado’s first harvest — time enough to dream about prosciutto-wrapped peaches, peach salsa, pizza with grilled peaches, peach liqueur, peach pie, peach cobbler, and of course, peach shortcake:
“I ate my first homemade shortcake at my grandma’s house. I remember loving the hearty biscuit-style cake that contrasted perfectly with the sweet strawberries. My version of peach shortcake follows in this tradition: the biscuit is more substantive than it is sweet, which provides the perfect excuse for eating this shortcake for breakfast or dessert. I suppose that there are some things that we inherit without knowing it. I am grateful for how my grandmother’s cooking wisdom remains in my life.” — Nikiko Masumoto
With the Land Library’s strong focus on people and the land, Mas Masumoto’s earlier books form the heart and soul of our collection. Mas’s books are essential, especially books such as these:
And here’s a book trailer for Wisdom of the Last Farmer, which includes a terrific visual tour of the Masumoto Family Farm!
The Masumoto Family: Korio, Nikiko, Mas, Marcy, and two of their most essential partners.
along with a second short film clip, with Mas in the orchard, tasting a peach:
“The eighty-acre organic farm currently grows seven peach varieties and three nectarine varieties on twenty-five acres. Raisens are grown on thirty-five acres, and the remaining acres are now part of a wild farm program, a nice way of saying “open” land. The critters love it; all farms should have something wild.” — Mas Masumoto