The peach is the fruit of Prunus persica vulgaris, a tree in the Rosaceae family bearing rounded fruits (drupes) with a distinctive longitudinal groove, firm juicy flesh and thin skin.
There are a large number of peach varieties, which can be divided into two main groups according to the characteristics of the skin: peaches (with slightly furry skin) and nectarines (with smooth skin).
These two main groups can be subdivided on the basis of flesh colour and shape: yellow, white and Saturn or flat peach.
The percoca (which has nothing to do with apricots, as many people think) is a specific yellow-fleshed cultivar, very widespread in Campania, and is also well-known as an industrial variety, used extensively for making preserves, juices etc, thanks to its compact flesh and intense flavour and aroma.
Originating in China, the peach travelled to Persia and from here was imported to Europe: this is reflected in the name Persicum, which gives rise to the name still used in many Italian dialects.
The custom of immersing percoca peaches in wine to make a delicious “soup” is widespread in Campania.