Peaches have a fuzzy, soft skin with colors ranging from yellow to blush to pinkish-red. They have a large interior pit, or stone – which is why they are a part of the stone fruit family! Flesh is a beautiful bright to pale yellow. Some varieties even have streaks of red.

Peaches are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, niacin and potassium, and a very good source of vitamin C. There are two main categories of peaches you will find at the farmers' market:

Freestone peaches: Stone inside comes away easily from the flesh. Used in home canning and for eating.

Cling peaches: Usually used for commercial canning and eating. Stone does not come away from flesh easily.

Peaches and nectarines are genetically the same. One has fuzz, the other doesn't.

The Lowdown

  • Season
  • Color
    Yellow to Pinkish-Red
  • Select
    Choose peaches that are firm but whose flesh yields gently to pressure. Fruit should be unblemished and free of bruises with a warm, fragrant aroma. Avoid those with a green tinge because they are not fully ripened.
  • Store
    Under-ripe peaches can be ripened somewhat by placing them in a paper bag punched with holes at room temperature in a spot away from sunlight. Once ripe, throw your peaches into a plastic bag and refrigerate for 3-5 days.

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