Choose Summer Peaches by Their Color to Enjoy the Best Flavors 

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July is here and that means it’s time for peaches. There is nothing better than standing in an orchard and biting into a freshly picked ripe peach. You can’t beat that sweet, juicy taste!

The best-tasting peach is the one picked just as it becomes ripe on the tree. That is fine for those who have their own fruit trees or access to a local orchard, but what about those of us who get our fruit at the market? 

Orange and Yellow Peach hanging from Tree with green leaves surrounding it

You too, can enjoy these fresh summer flavors, if you know how to judge the ripeness of fruit. The key to determining the ripeness of a piece of fruit is the color. Look at the background color, not the reddest part of the fruit. If the fruit is still on the tree, the side in the shade has the background color. It should be yellow if you want to eat the fruit immediately. 

Those who want to extend the fresh-picked season can pick the fruit when the background color is greenish yellow. At this stage peaches can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. The fruit will not ripen in the refrigerator. To complete the ripening process, you will need to let them sit at room temperature for four or five days – until they soften.

The same is true for store-bought fruit. Look for the best background color: yellow for immediate eating and greenish-yellow to let it ripen at home. If the fruit you see in the store is green, it probably will not ripen correctly for high-quality eating. 

When buying peaches, buy the greenish-yellow ones. Leave as many pieces out at room temperature as you will eat during the course of a day or two and refrigerate the rest. After a couple of days take a few pieces out of the refrigerator to ripen at room temperature. 

For a host of peach recipes visit the North Carolina Peach Growers Society website.