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.
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.