Prev Next >>
& General Merchandise News
News: Peaches & Nectarines
Dogs & Cats
Profile: Willow Creek Farm
On Out: Eating Well
on Your Own
and Drink Recommendations
for Thought Recipe Contest
Co-op Taking Off!
Peaches & Nectarines
Whether eaten in a pie or cobbler, over ice cream, with breakfast cereal,
in a smoothie, or just out of hand with the juice running down your face,
it’s time to eat peaches and nectarines.
Peaches and Nectarines 101
Peaches and nectarines, along with plums, apricots, and cherries are all
members of the Prunus genus, within the rose family. They are drupes,
or “stone fruits,” because they have a large, hard seed in
a fleshy outer fruit. Peaches are thought to have originated in China,
first brought to North America by the Spanish in the early 1500s. There
are two types of peaches, Freestone and Clingstone. Freestones are usually
eaten fresh, and have a pit that is very easy to remove. Clingstones,
on the other hand, “cling” tightly to the pit and so are canned,
frozen, etc. The flesh can be either yellow or white. Nectarines can be
used just like peaches in most cases. The primary genetic difference is
the lack of fuzz on a nectarine’s skin. Often nectarines are smaller
than peaches, have more red color on the skin, and a stronger aroma.
Selecting and Ripening
When shopping for peaches, consider when you will eat them and don’t
buy too far ahead. If you’ll get to them within a couple days, look
for peaches that are soft when light pressure is applied and have a slightly
sweet aroma. If you’re buying for later in the week, peaches that
are firm to the touch will ripen within three to four days. Either way,
select smooth, unblemished fruit with no greenish color. Color varies
by variety, but green indicates immaturity. Peaches picked when too green
may shrivel or fail to develop good flavor. Otherwise, peaches and nectarines
will continue to ripen at room temperature. You can speed it up by placing
them in a paper bag, especially someplace warm like on top of the refrigerator.
Put them in the refrigerator to slow them down once ripe. Do not refrigerate
peaches before they are ripe!
To skin peaches for cooking, cut an X on the blossom end with a sharp
knife. Place in a pot of boiling water for one minute, and cool in ice
water for another minute. Then remove the skin with your fingertips or
a paring knife. Peeled peaches will quickly turn brown, so coat them with
lemon, lime, or orange juice to maintain their color.
Fresh peaches provide several antioxidant vitamins. Your body converts
the beta carotene into vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Peaches and
nectarines also provide potassium and fiber. Some sources say nectarines
are a little more nutritious than peaches, but I don’t think you’ll
go wrong with either one! Peach salsa anyone? Grilled peaches? Peach wine?
Order a case for canning or freezing, and enjoy peaches all year! Or maybe
make some jam. All we are saying... is give peach a chance.