How to Choose a Perfect Peach

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Juicy, succulent peaches are best when left to ripen in the sun, then plucked from a tree and eaten on the spot. If you can't find your way to an orchard to pick your own, keep these tips in mind when shopping for ripe peaches.

  • Shop at a farmers' market for the ripest and fleshiest peaches possible. Most likely the fruit was handpicked a day or so earlier. Talk to the farmer about the different characteristics.

  • Smell the peach. Is it perfumey and sweet-scented?

  • Inspect the peach's surface. The skin shouldn't be bruised in any way; it should have a soft, downy covering of white fuzz; and it should be streaked with both pink and yellow.

  • Taste both white and yellow peaches. Most say the spectacular flavor of white peaches is where it's at, but your definition of perfection will depend on your own taste buds.

  • Eat that exquisite peach as soon as you get it home. Or savor peaches throughout the year, by bottling into preserves or chutney.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep peaches at the top of your grocery bag and handle with care. Ripe peaches blemish and tear easily.

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