Peaches are one of my favorite fruits and they are at their prime in the spring and summer which are also my favorite times of the year. They usually peak during late june through July in the South and July and August in the North. Their sweet and juicy flavors combined with fragrant smells makes peaches a favorite in desserts ranging from Pies to pastries.

One of the most important things to find out before purchasing or picking peaches is what kind they are. There are two main types of peaches: Freestone and Clingstone.

Freestone Peaches:  This variety is ideal for eating fresh because the pit separates easily from the flesh of the peach. They tend to be a bit larger than the Clingstone peaches as well as firmer and a little less juicy, but still very sweet.

Clingstone Peaches: This variety is rarely found in a local market and are mostly used by the commercial industry for canning. The main difference from the Freestone is that it is much harder to separate the flesh from the pit and are more juicy and a bit sweeter. This sweetness makes them ideal for baking,  but the “cling” of flesh to pit makes them a pain to pit and slice!

It is a common misconception that the rosy color of a peach is what indicates the maturing, but while this is a good trait, it is actually a well-defined cleft in the shape of the peach. If you happen to pick up a peach that is slightly under-ripe, there is a way to ripen it further. Tip: Place the peach in a paper bag punched with holes at room temperature in a spot away from sunlight. Be sure however to constantly check the ripeness since the peach can go from under-ripe to overripe in as little as 24 hours.

Unless you plan on preserving the peaches, only purchase the amount you plan on using within a few days. If you are storing them at room temperature make sure the peaches are not stacked together, but have space between them for air to circulate and they should last 3 – 4 days depending on how ripe they were when you purchased them.

Refrigerating peaches can extend their life, but not for more than a day or two. Also, when you want to eat a peach that has been refrigerated, let it sit until it reaches room temperature so that you can get back the full flavoring.

For tips on how to slice, peel and pit peaches check out my baking tips for Pitting & Slicing Peaches and Peeling Peaches.

For some fabulous ideas on incorporating peaches in your baking, check out my recipe for Peach Upside Down Cake and check back for additional recipes as the summer continues!

Sources: Peaches & Health


2 Responses to “Peaches”

  1. Acira February 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Your content made me want to read more and more. Congratulations for the work. Thanks!


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