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Choosing Quality Peaches

Peaches, also called the “queen of fruits”, are deliciously sweet and juicy with a unique flavor that is to die for. In the United States today, peaches as an orchard fruit are second in production only to apples. The U.S grows almost half of the world's supply of peaches, with 34 states producing almost three billion pounds of fruit annually. This vast production is no surprise, considering the delicate aroma and succulent taste of peaches have entranced even the strictest food enthusiasts and are increasing in demand around the world. In order to get the most luscious peaches that are sure to make your mouth water, it's important to understand the keys to choosing quality peaches. The following are some tips that will help you choose the sweetest, ripest peaches in the bunch:Smell the Peach Peaches are from the rose family, which means that they should have a pleasingly sweet fragrance. If you are in an outside market, it will be fairly easy to detect the sweet aroma emanating from the fruit. Ripe peaches will have a lingering scent that you can smell as soon as you approachLook at the Color and Condition Most peaches that are seamless and impeccable are known for their creamy gold to yellow under-color. If the peach is red or has a "blush" look to it, that is simply an indication of variety, not ripeness. You should also look for a well-defined crease that runs from the stem to the point.Analyze how the Peaches feel Avoid peaches with excessive softness or bruising. Ultimately, you want to choose a peach that is firm but yields slightly to gentle pressure. This shows that they are the perfect ripeness and haven't been over handled.When you go to look for peaches, timing is everything. Early, mid or late season varieties are different and may require a different selecting tactic.
  • Early season: These kinds of peaches grow more quickly and have lighter skin. They also have less sugar, but still taste pleasant.
  • Mid-season:  These types of peaches are typically the best since they are the most like the original varieties. They are not bred to stay late on the tree or grow quicker than normal.
  • Late season: These peaches have the sweetest taste, but they are also less juicy than early and mid-season peaches.
Picking a good, tasty peach every time is difficult, even for the most experienced peach lovers. However, these tips can help you get the sweetest, most juicy peaches consistently regardless if you are purchasing from a local peach orchard, farmers market or grocery store.

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