Weirdly, peach-pear was only LaCroix’s 9th flavor, released in 2012.
Which is a little remarkable to us, because on first blush, peach + pear seems like kind of a strange combination, at least for your ninth flavor in twenty years. It’s a pairing usually found in cobblers, crisps, and pies, where the flavors are goo-illy fused with the help of a cup of sugar. But in a sparkling water?
After giving it a little thought, it makes some sense: peaches and pears are cousins in the Rose family, although twisting the family tree together a little can either bring out the best qualities, or you wind up in Deliverance.
Peach-pear does evoke some vision of a pastoral orchard, summertime canning and picnics, white sheets on a clothesline, gently aflutter in the spring breeze.
Does LaCroix fulfil our pastoral fantasies? Or are we going somewhere where the pies have eyes? Let’s pop the can.
The nose is pure pear with a fuzz of peach softly twining through. Pears are best when they’re still a little crisp – by the time they fully ripen they get a little sweet and grainy for our taste. And the pear wafting from the can is a bright, crisp, green pear.
Off to a good start! No banjos in the distance yet.
Unfortunately, the pear has somehow over-ripened in the time between taking a sniff and taking a sip. There’s still a tart note of green flesh, but the body of the flavor is mushy pear.
The pear tastes sweeter than expected: we had thought that maybe the pear was here to bring a tart counterpoint to the peach, which it does a little bit, but mostly there’s a sweet overlap, cobbler-style.
It’s actually the peach to the rescue – there’s a certain bitterness to a slightly under-ripe peach, a little pit flavor, and that pittiness is present in LaCroix’s peach.
Generally we’d want a chin dribbling, luscious stonefruit in our peach sparkling water, but here the undeveloped peach actually works to help keep this flavor from crumbling into pure peach pear crumble.
Interestingly, as you work your way through the can, the flavors brighten and crisp up a little. This might be because whatever saccharine aromatics are in LaCroix’s pear “essence” evaporate slightly, greening up the pear and tartening up the overall flavor profile.
There’s a few sips in here where we are sitting in an orchard, fresh cut grass and clean linens dancing together in a verdant Rosaceae dream.
But with every sip it morphs, like we’re working our way through the genetic line and each time it becomes less like something we recognize, and geez, we’d love it if the peach-pear gene pool diversified just a smidge.
Towards the bottom of the can, we start to get into sour peach territory, the flavors are pretty thin at this point. Cue the banjos, this peach is about to squeal like a pig.
But in the end, the flavor is barely present, in classic LaCroix style. We didn’t wind up descending into some dark hollow, nor did we get to finish our picnic.
We both sigh and shudder at what could have been, and just conclude that it did have a real pretty mouth.
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