Our Community Supported Agriculture Cooperative (CSA) brought us the first batch of peaches last week. Gently resting in our CSA basket, the peaches’ arrival brought glee to our faces as we sliced our first one. This being our third summer of doing the CSA, we’ve come to learn that their peaches are especially delicious. Fresh, not-mealy and the most sweet in flavor, we’ve yet to have a bad peach...from the CSA. Bad peaches from the grocery, for sure.
When the peaches, and their very close cousin, the nectarines, arrive in the grocery in late spring or early summer, I am ready to buy them up fast. But I need to take a few steps first to avoid the very dreaded mealy, tasteless pit fruit.
Need a few tips to help you with your pit fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, and the many hybrids such as pluots) selection? Here’s a few tips to save you from the pit (ha!) falls of buying bad fruit:
*Fruit should be firm, but not rock hard. If a pit fruit is already soft, chances are by the time you get around to eating it, or even if you eat it right then and there, it may be over-ripe and mushy.
*Pit fruit does continue to ripen after being picked, but only at room temperature. If your pit fruit is still very firm, do not put it in the refrigerator.
*Look for brightly colored fruit, with no green at the stem or in the background color. Generally speaking, the more colorful the skin, the better off you are, however, some peaches in particular, have lighter skin, no matter how ripe.
*Sniff away! Pit fruit should have a pleasant, sweet fragrance.
*If you are cooking with pit fruit, as in grilling peaches such as the picture below, choose fruit that is not fully-ripe:
Here’s one last tidbit on pit fruit: did you know that peaches are nectarines are so closely related that sometimes peach trees will bear nectarines and vice versa!
Life is sweet, and hopefully, so is your fruit,