- Author: Cindy Fake
Selecting and Storing Stone Fruit
Select unbruised peaches or nectarines with nice color, full shape, and heavy for their size. Look for the ground color of the fruit, not just the blush. For white peaches or nectarines the ground color 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 brown rot or other 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
Cover a shallow tray or cookie sheet with a linen napkin or cotton dish towel (not terry cloth, it holds too much moisture). Place each peach/nectarine stem side down on the tray so that they are not touching. Cover with another dish towel and place in a cool place, out of the sun. Most fruit should ripen at room temperature (65° to 75°F) 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!