Sunday, June 21, 2009

'World’s largest peach cobbler’ at festival in Fort Valley (Georgia)

By Eric Newcomer
FORT VALLEY— Seventy-five gallons of fresh sliced Georgia peaches, 150 pounds of self-rising flour, 150 pounds of sugar, 32 gallons of milk and 90 pounds of butter go into making Peach County's peach cobbler as part of the Georgia Peach Festival.

People from across the state came to Fort Valley on Saturday to participate in the festival and to have a bowl of "the world's largest peach cobbler."

Whether it actually is the largest is unclear.

"We just say it is," said Rich Bennett, the Georgia Peach Festival's president and the head cook.

But who would dispute the claim, with cooks mixing the ingredients in six large clean trash cans using rakes and boat paddles before spreading it out on a metal pan for almost eight hours of cooking.

People said they enjoyed their servings of peach cobbler, doled out in Styrofoam bowls and served hot.

"It's actually pretty good," said Jerome Owens of Macon. "Being a pot that big, it's actually pretty good."

Most agreed that considering the size it was not half bad.

"Well compared to my late wife's, it's not as good, but she didn't make it this big," said Jack Broshar from Atlanta.

The cobbler is cooked on a large metal pan under a wooden pavilion, which sits all year ready for the next year's cobbler.

There are some problems that come into play when cooking such a large concoction.

"It's very, very hard not to burn the bottom," Bennett said. And some of the bottom of the cobbler burned Saturday.

"This big, it's kind of hard to get a pie crust," he said.

Cooks started arriving at 4 a.m. and covered the pan at 6:02 a.m., according to Bennett. Dessert was served at 2 p.m.

Besides the giant peach cobbler, attendees could pick from a wide selection of foods and peach products available for purchase.

Michelle Yingling, who has worked at the festival for 21 years, said she expected to sell 5,000 peaches Saturday. This was the 23rd Georgia Peach Festival, Bennett said.

"The purpose of the festival is to celebrate the peach growers," Bennett said. "Peach County wouldn't exist without peach growers."


Rick Kilby said...

Peach cobbler, yuuummm. You can have your bacon, I'll take the cobbler.

World's Largest Things, Inc. said...

Funny, this is completely unappetizing to me... I think it has to do with the 'slop bucket' used for dipping...