From yellow, red, and white, to flat, round and heart-shaped, peaches come in many different forms. And while there are hundreds of varieties, there are only three main categories that each can be placed in. These categories are determined by the peach’s relationship between their flesh and pit.
- Clingstone which aptly describes these peaches whose flesh clings steadfastly to the pit and is difficult to remove. Clingstone peaches come in many varieties most notably yellow and white. Clingstone peaches are typically smaller but very juicy and sweet, making them a perfect choice for canning and jellies.
- Freestone alludes to peaches with a flesh that is easily removed from the pit. In many cases, the pit literally falls out of the peach once it’s sliced. Thanks to that characteristic, these peaches are usually the most common type found at local markets and grocery stores as they are best when eaten fresh. Freestone peaches are typically larger than clingstone, wonderful eaten out of hand or used in cooking, baking, canning and freezing. Freestone peaches are generally harvested mid-season and once they arrive, these freestone peaches will be available throughout the peach season.
- Semi-Cling is a hybrid type peach that is less well known than its more common relatives. Semi-Cling peaches combine the sweetness of a clingstone with the easy to eat nature of the freestone. While more difficult to find, semi-cling peaches are good both fresh and canned.
Depending on your personal taste preferences and cooking needs, one of these three varieties may be more suitable than another. For those interested in strictly canning peaches or making sweet desserts, clingstone peaches are probably the way to go. Freestone peaches, on the other hand, are a delicious snack to eat fresh, while adventurous eaters out there may find tracking down a semi-freestone peach may be a worthy pursuit. After all, when it comes to peaches, there is something for every taste!