Peaches are one of the fruits that come to mind when we think of natural sweetness. There are very few people who don’t enjoy eating peaches. However, as popular as peaches are, many don’t know the best time to get them.
Peaches are in season at different times. For example, while peach season starts in mid-June in Idaho, peaches begin to mature by April in Florida. To tell if a peach is ripe, look for a more golden or, well peach coloring to the skin (not green), and expect them to be slightly soft.
Indeed, peaches are a great option if you want to increase your vitamin intake. Next, we discuss how to pick peaches in season so you can know when to get the best of the lot.
The peach fruit is an edible and juicy fruit from the peach tree. The edible flesh is juicy and tastes delicious, followed by an acidic tanginess. And they have a single seed at their center.
The peach fruit has either yellow or an off-white color (available in Europe and North America). Other varieties come in purple or red (usually available in Asia).
Their skin is either fuzzy (more like velvety) or smooth (in the case of nectarines.) You might have heard of nectarines; they are also a type of peach. However, their skin is different, and nectarines don’t have peaches’ fuzz.
Where Do They Come From?
The peach tree is a deciduous tree from Northern China before spreading to Western Asia and then Europe. In Europe, the peach tree came to America in the eighteenth century.
The peach tree can grow up to seven meters when left unpruned. However, pruned peach trees only grow to be about three to four meters tall.
When Are Peaches Ripe by State?
There are about twenty states in the US that grow peaches. The number makes them available nationwide. However, depending on the variety, the time peaches get ripe differs from state to state. So let’s check out the biggest peach-producing states and when peaches are ripe.
If your state isn’t listed, just pick the one that’s closest to you to consider, and if peaches aren’t in season for you right now, consider some alternative options like Sun Dried California Peaches (on Amazon) or other shelf stable options like these Dole Peach Fruit Bowls (also on Amazon).
California is perfect for peaches. Everything is ideal for growing peaches, from vast lands to arable soil and favorable climate. As a result, California is the lead producer of peaches in the US.
About half of the commercial peaches produced in the US come from California. Peach season in California starts at the end of June and lasts until the middle of September.
Georgia’s climate is quite warm, though they experience cold winters. The peach season in Georgia begins in May and lasts until the middle of August. Georgia is one of the first states in the US to come into the peach season.
One of the first varieties of Georgian peaches to get ripe are the clingstone. The semicling variety closely follows the clingstones, and the last variety to mature in Georgia is the freestone.
In North Carolina, you begin to see ripe peaches at the beginning of June and the last of September. July is usually the peak of peach season in North Carolina.
North Carolina has about seventy different varieties of peaches. And if you visit the state in July, you will be enchanted by blooming peach trees in orchards, sweet-tasting peaches, and a sweet heady scent of peaches.
The south of Carolina doesn’t differ much from the north regarding the peach season. Their season comes a little later in June. The season lasts until the end of August.
New Jersey’s climate is ideal for growing much fruit, peaches included. Perhaps, that is why the state is called the Garden State. Unfortunately, though the volume of peaches harvested is quite large, its harvest season only lasts from the middle of July to the middle of September.
Like oranges, Florida is one of the largest producers of peach fruit. Though the peach season window is relatively short, it lasts from the beginning of April to the middle of May. In addition, Florida’s sunny nature helps the state favorably compete with other peach-producing states.
There are parts of Colorado that enjoy as much as three hundred days of sunshine annually, making the state ideal for farming. Peach season in Colorado begins towards the end of June and lasts till early October. And the common type of peaches available there is the freestone.
The peach season comes around in Idaho from the middle of June to mid-August. Due to Idaho’s climate, and the late onset of summer due to its long winters, peach season gets a late start here than in most other states.
Like Idaho, Michigan’s cold weather means that peach season isn’t very long in the state. Peaches begin to mature late in July before the season ends in the middle of September.
Pennsylvania also has the perfect conditions for growing peaches. Its summers are hot and spring with no frost. The weather conditions help peach farmers produce the best crop and give the state a peach season that runs from July to the end of September.
How to Tell When Peaches Are Ripe
Telling ripe peaches apart from unripe peaches isn’t difficult if you know what to look for. So, if you are thinking of picking ripe peaches at the store, look out for these indicators.
- Color: One of the best indicators of determining whether or not a peach is ripe is its skin color. The ideal color for a yellow peach, for instance, is golden yellow. Conversely, hints of green on the skin mean the peach isn’t fully ripe. And red blotches indicate the fruit has been overexposed to the sun.
- Touch: Apart from touch, another way to tell if a peach fruit is ripe is by touching it. Ripe peach fruit is soft to touch.
- Smell: Still not convinced about the ripeness of the fruit? Why don’t you smell it? Ripe peach has a characteristic sweet atom. So when you pick up a peach with no smell, it’s likely because it isn’t ripe yet.
- Skin: Apart from color, the texture of the peach’s skin is another good indicator of its ripeness. If the skin is slightly wrinkled, the peach fruit is ripe. The wrinkles on the skin are caused by the evaporation of some of the water in the fruit. The reduction in water level increases the fruit’s flavor and sweetness.
How to Buy and Store Peaches
Below are some tips you need to know when you want to buy peaches from the store.
- Search for that trademark crease peaches have. If it doesn’t have it, don’t buy it.
- No matter the variety of peach you are shopping for, ensure that the color is uniform. For example, there is a uniform golden yellow color for yellow peaches and a creamy color for white peaches.
- When you touch them, make sure they aren’t hard or mushy. The fruits must have the right amount of softness.
- The smell the fruit gives off is significant. It should smell glorious. You know, that smell that tells you everything is just peachy.
- Don’t buy peaches that have a green color close to the stem. They aren’t ripe enough. It would be best if you didn’t also purchase peaches with shriveled skin. It means they are no longer fresh.
How to Store Peaches
After buying and getting home, you need to store the peaches properly so they don’t go bad. If the peaches aren’t as ripe as you want, keep them at room temperature until they ripen to the degree you want.
If they are ripe enough but you aren’t ready to use them, or there’s some leftover, put them in the crisper drawer of your fridge. In the drawer, the peaches remain fresh for about five days. That’s enough time to know what to do with them.
If you don’t think you can use them in five days, peel the skin off the peaches. After peeling, slice the fruits and arrange them in a baking tray. Place the tray in the freezer and leave them there until they are frozen.
Remove the frozen peaches, put them in an airtight container, and put them back in the freezer. That will Lee them fresh for longer.
Peaches are delicious, and they are the main ingredient of some unforgettable deserts. California and North Carolina are the biggest fruit producers, and it pays to know when their fruits come into season.
The best fruits give you the most satisfaction, so shop like an expert and pick the best peaches.