Epitaph for a Peach : Four Seasons on My Family Farm
By David Mas Masumoto
HarperSanFrancisco/Harper Collins, 256 pages
Hardcover, June 1995 (four hard cover reprints)
Paperback, June 1996 (21 paperback reprints)
“Sun Crest is one of the last remaining truly juicy peaches. When you wash that treasure under a stream of cooling water, your fingertips instinctively search for the gushy side of the fruit. Your mouth waters in anticipation. You lean over the sink to make sure you don’t drip on yourself. Then you sink your teeth into the flesh and the juices trickle down your cheeks and dangle on your chin. This is a real bite, a primal act, a magical sensory celebration announcing that summer has arrived. ” (from the prologue)
As pleasurable as a perfect peach, Epitaph for a Peach tells the passionate story of one farmer’s attempt to rescue one of the last truly sweet and juicy fruits from becoming obsolete in a world that increasingly values commerciality over quality. The story of Mas Masumoto’s Sun Crest peaches begins on the day he turns the bulldozers away from his orchards and vows to give himself four seasons to find a home for the fruits of his labor.
At once a deeply personal story, a sharp commentary about the state of American agriculture, a lighthearted rhapsody of nature, and an intimate glimpse into the Asian American experience, Epitaph for a Peach is about saving a peach, saving a farm, saving a family, saving a way of life–it is a story about finding “home.”
Epitaph for a Peach: winner of the Julia Child Cookbook Award for Best Literary Food Writing, 1995 and the Critics’ Choice Award 1995-96 San Francisco Review of Books.