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Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Produce Guide: Peaches & Nectarines

Peach and Nectarine Buying Guide Stone fruit season is finally here--hooray for recipes chock full of peaches and nectarines! A juicy and perfectly ripe peach is the epitome of summer for me. Z and I buy peaches and nectarines all summer, and we particularly love them paired with blue cheese and bread (soooo good, trust me!).

That being said, there's nothing worse than splurging on stone fruit to find that it's not quite ripe yet, or just isn't as flavorful as you were expecting. This guide will help you not only pick out the best nectarines at the grocery store, and also make sure they stay at their peak longer.

Check back here on Wednesday for one of my favorite summer recipes that includes peaches!
Peach and Nectarine Buying Guide

Stone Fruit Produce Guide


What is a white peach/nectarine versus a normal peach/nectarine? White peaches and nectarines have a white flesh (hence the name) and a higher sugar content than traditional peaches and nectarines. If you are looking for a extra sweet treat, give these varieties a try!

Buying

Peaches and nectarines are a little more forgiving than most fruit, because they can actually ripen after they've been picked. For both peaches and nectarines, you'll want to smell them. They should smell delicious. 

Ripe peaches will also have some give when you squeeze them. If they feel similar to a tennis ball, you have one to two more days until full ripeness. If a peach looks bruised, it's already reached its peak.

For nectarines, I recommend looking for a slight softening along the seam. Unlike peaches, you should avoid soft nectarines. 

Storing

Peaches and nectarines are best left on the counter, out of direct sunlight. This will allow them to ripen, and it will also prevent a mealy texture. If your peaches are mealy, it's likely because they were picked too early, stored in a refrigerator, and then brought back to room temperature by the grocery store. Never a good sign! 


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