Is there another fruit as deeply immersed in erotic associations as the peach? I can’t think of one. Yes, cherries. OK, pears. Yeah alright, bananas. But in the end I don’t think any other fruit has quite the breadth and depth of erotic interpretations as the peach. Why? Supposedly because of all fruits, it’s the peach whose flesh most closely resembles human skin. Indeed the exterior of a peach is rather sensuous, smooth and silky, and interestingly rather warm, not unlike a cheek. Yet the delicate cleavage running down the side of a peach is evocative of another kind of cheek, which puts us in altogether different associative territory.
As fate would have it some of the best peach growing land in the world is in France, which has given those folks no end of double-entendre fodder over the centuries. Émile Zola compared the flesh of the legendary Montreuil peaches to the pale clear skin of Northern French girls, and the tawny peaches of Midi to the sun-kissed cheeks of the young ladies of the Pyrenées. And here I thought all he cared about was political reform. Looks like when he wasn’t writing incendiary social commentary he got around quite a bit. J’accuse!