A quintessential summer experience in the south is enjoying fresh, sweet peaches from local farms and stores. But it matters which peaches you pick! When you’re looking to take the best peaches home with you, the process is simple, but specific. Here are our top tips for picking the perfect peach this peach season so you can enjoy these fresh fruits to the fullest:

1. Don’t focus too heavily on the color

Color doesn’t always indicate ripeness in peaches. Many varieties don’t turn red, and some even have a yellow or greenish skin color when ripe! While you should look for vibrant color of the skin when picking a peach, uneven color or lighter spots don’t indicate lesser peaches.

2. Use your sense of smell and touch

When you’re looking for the perfect peach, using your other senses will tell you more about the quality of the peach. Peaches that are firm but not hard to the touch, and have a strong peach aroma are the best to add to your basket. Softer peaches may be chosen if you’re ready to eat them that day. It’s best to buy a selection of peaches at varying degrees of ripeness to be able to enjoy your peaches for longer, eating the softer ones first and saving the firmer peaches for the following days.

3. Store them well

Being particular about Peach storage is important because it’s easy to miss the perfect ripeness of this fruit. In most cases, storing your peaches on the counter at room temperature is the best way for them to ripen properly  We recommend only putting them in the fridge to prolong their freshness once they have reached your desired ripeness. In the refrigerator, they should last another week or so, but we recommend eating them at room temperature for maximum peachy flavor.