Peaches are part of the family known as stone fruits, referring to the pit in each fruit. There are hundreds of peach varieties, varying in color, flavor, shape and texture. From the outside, yellow and white peaches are distinguished by their skin color – deep yellow with a red or pink blush for the former versus pale and pink for the latter. Inside, the golden flesh of the yellow peach is more acidic, with a tartness that mellows as the peach ripens and softens. White-fleshed peaches are lower in acid and taste sweet whether firm or soft.
When we are able to secure them, peaches are locally available from August to September. It is a difficult crop to grow organically in Ontario, so some years are better than others in terms of the supply. They are definitely worth the wait. We are able to get them from other organic sources when Ontario's availability is limited. Great fresh in fruit salads or on its own, this stone fruit is sweet and delicious. Roasted, poached, or in pies this fruit really delivers.
TIP: Peaches have the best flavor at room temperature, so let them warm up if they've been chilled.
Handling & Storage:
- Peaches only ripen on the tree, so if they’re picked prematurely, they’'ll never develop a proper flavor and sweetness. Mature peaches smell like...well, peaches, when sniffed at the stem end. If there is no sweet, fragrant aroma, chances are the peach will not be memorable.
- Look for fruit with smooth, unbruised skin, with no hint of green tints. If a peach is bruised or has soft spots, it will go bad very quickly, and green areas indicate the fruit was picked too early.
- If your peaches are underripe, place them in a paper bag with an apple, and punch a few air holes in the bag. Leave the peaches at room temperature for a few days. Peaches are ripe when they give slightly to gentle pressure. White flesh peaches, however, are an exception to this rule: they are at their peak of flavor and texture when still a bit firm.
- Once ripe, should be eaten right away or stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag.