Over the weekend, hungry Georgia residents lined up to get a taste of what many consider to be the world’s biggest peach cobbler. This dessert is a staple at the annual Fort Valley Peach Festival — and it’s no wonder, considering Georgia is known as the “Peach State” and is home to an estimated 70 streets, roads, and thoroughfares named after the fruit.
Historically, peach cobbler is believed to be an improvised modification of peach pie. When European settlers reached America in the 1800s, many Dutch and English immigrants brought traditional pie recipes with them. However, they were forced to use whatever resources were on hand in the New World, where access to certain fruits was often difficult, to implement their recipes. Settlers “cobbled” together makeshift pies using dried, canned, or syrup-preserved fruit and chemically leavened dough, baking it all over an open fire. Though settlers originally enjoyed the sweet treat for every meal, it was officially labeled a dessert in the late 19th century.
Georgia residents now celebrate the fruit at the annual Georgia Peach Festival, a week-long event that attracts up to 10,000 visitors in Byron and Fort Valley for song, dance, and barbecues. The festival actually came to a halt in 1926, when the small towns of Peach County could no longer accommodate the swarms of visitors. But fortunately, Fort Valley revived the festivities in 1986, and the city now plays host to the Colossal Peach Cobbler.
Made in a pan measuring 5 by 11 feet, the recipe calls for a whopping 75 gallons of peaches, 150 pounds of flour and sugar, and 32 gallons of milk — unsurprisingly, the resulting cobbler can feed several thousand people.
In addition to being sweet and juicy, peaches have myriad health benefits. They can keep your vision sharp, reverse signs of aging skin, and even lower your risk of cancer. What’s not to like?
Catch a glimpse of the legendary cobbler in the video below.