Enjoying fresh peaches and nectarines

As a point of interest, I often get told that my fruit is too green.   Today in the modern industry there are many new varieties of fruit that customers don’t know or really understand.  Yes there is still the old style types of peaches with a nice acid background that is accentuated by the sweet sugar developed by the hot spring and summers days.  These type are usually enjoyed softened and not always as soon as you purchase them from the shop.   Peaches and nectarines are generally picked firm so that they can travel to the shop and look good.  If we picked soft and ready to eat, then the majority would never make it to the shops.

New varieties are now such that they can be eaten firm or soft.  Crunchy like an apple or soft like they used to be from your grandma’s backyard tree.   If you want to ripen firmer fruit from the store then follow these simple tips:

Selecting and Storing Stone Fruit

Select unbruised peaches or nectarines with nice colour, full shape, and heavy for their size. Look for the ground colour of the fruit, not just the blush. For white peaches or nectarines the ground colour should be creamy, not greenish. For yellow varieties, it should be golden, not pale or greenish.

Select by aroma if you intend to eat the peach in a day or so. Do not squeeze fruit, it will damage it. Be careful not to bruise the fruit on your way home. Bruised tissue begins to decompose rapidly, and decay may occur unless it is consumed immediately.

Fully ripe peaches or nectarines should be used immediately. If that is not possible, ripe fruit may be refrigerated. To reduce water loss in the refrigerator, use a plastic bag or place in the fruit bin.

Ripening Stone Fruit

Place each peach or nectarine stem side down on a flat surface so that they are not touching and place in a cool place, out of the sun. Most fruit should ripen at room temperature in one to four days.

You may also ripen peaches and nectarines in a fruit bowl with other fruit or in a paper bag, with the top loosely folded. However, separating each piece of fruit reduces the potential for decay and bruising.

The aroma will tell you when the fruit is ripe – a peach should smell like a peach! The stem side will be flattened slightly from softening and the weight of the fruit. Enjoy!

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