- Clingstone Peaches
- Clingstone Varietal Peaches
- Donut Peaches
- Freestone Peaches
- Freestone Varietal Peaches
- Melting Flesh Peaches
- Non-Melting Flesh Peaches
- Peento Peaches
- Semi-Freestone Peaches
- White Flesh Peaches
- Yellow Flesh Peaches
- Arctic Supreme Peaches
- August Pride Peaches
- Babcock Peaches
- Baby Crawford Peaches
- Cardinal Peaches
- Cherokee Peaches
- Coconut Ice Peaches
- Contender Peaches
- Cresthaven Peaches
- Early Amber Peaches
- El Dorado Peaches
- Elberta Peaches
- Forty-Niner Peaches
- Frost Peaches
- Ghiaccio Ice Peaches
- Halloween Peaches
- Honey Babe Peaches
- Madison Peaches
- Melba Peaches
- Polly Peaches
- Red Baron Peaches
- Redhaven Peaches
- Reliance Peaches
- Rio Grande Peaches
- Snow Beauty Peaches
- Southern Sweet Peaches
- Tropic Snow Peaches
- Ventura Peaches
- White Heath Cling Peaches
Peaches are juicy fruits with over 2,000 varieties found worldwide. They are members of the Rosaceae or rose family and close relatives of almonds, as both belong to the Prunus genus, and the Prunus Amygdalus subgenus. Through their Prunus affiliation peaches are also classified as a “stone fruit” or “drupe” because their pulp contains a hardened shell with a seed inside.
The peach originated in China and domesticated as early as 6,000 B.C. China remains the world’s leading producer of peaches accounting for about half of global production.
Its scientific name Prunus persica, which means Persian Plum, comes from the early European belief that the peach originated in Persia or modern-day Iran. Meanwhile, the ancient Romans called it malum persicum, which means Persian apple. Its name later evolved into the French pêche or the English “peach.”
Peaches Nutrition Facts Chart
Now let’s jump into your peach options.
Basic Types of Peaches
Whenever peaches contain flesh that sticks to the pit of the fruit, they are called Clingstone peaches. These peaches can have yellow or white flesh and they are usually very sweet and juicy. If you choose this type of peach, it is recommended that you cut the pit away from the fruit with a knife instead of eating around the pit.
Nowadays, most Clingstone peaches are used for processing instead of making desserts, in part because of the requirement of separating the flesh from the pit before eating.
Clingstone Varietal Peaches
These varieties include the Santa Rosa peaches, which are best when eaten from May to August and have yellow flesh and a sweet and acidic flavor. They are mostly used for preserving and canning purposes, although they are occasionally used for baking and in salads, and they have a crisp, firm bite.
Another variety is the Red Beauty peach, which is tender and has a skin that is almost red in color. The Red Beauty has flesh that is reddish-yellow in color and is also in season from May to August.
Donut peaches are an heirloom peach and have white flesh and a fairly flat shape. They are found mostly in July and August in either specialty produce stores or local farmers’ markets. They are low in acid, making them very tasty.
Freestone peaches are less sweet and juicy than the Clingstone type of peaches but they are the most commonly found peaches in the supermarkets and in various desserts. They get their name because they have flesh that is easily separated from the pit. Their flesh can be either yellow or white, depending on the variety.
Freestone Varietal Peaches
There are several different varieties that fall under this category. One of the most popular is the O’Henry peach, which matures in late summer and has thin red skin and firm yellow flesh. The only thing more appealing than their aroma is their perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. You can use O’Henry peaches for mixing drinks, eating raw, and making preserves and sorbets.
A variety known as the Red Top peach, which is also a late-summer variety, comes with great-smelling leaves and attractive pink flowers, not to mention a sweet and tart flavor. Last, Elegant Lady peaches are firm, mildly acidic, and very fragrant. They are mostly used for snacking, canning and baking purposes.
Melting Flesh Peaches
These peaches have flesh that falls apart and softens easily, especially over time. If you try and cut them with a knife, they will become raggedy and torn. Melting flesh peaches include both the Clingstone and Freestone varieties and they are perfect to include in cobblers, pies, and other yummy desserts. You can also eat them raw for a nice, fresh taste.
Nectarines are a type of peach if you look at them from a botanical viewpoint. Their flavor varies a bit, depending on the variety; in reality, the main difference between peaches and nectarines is that nectarines have smooth, fuzz-free skin and usually a darker color than most peaches.
Non-Melting Flesh Peaches
Unlike melting flesh peaches, the flesh of these peaches stays firm for a long time, which is one of the reasons why they are used for processed foods and for canning purposes. Clingstone peaches make up this category and they are only occasionally used in desserts or eaten raw.
Peento peaches are a type of Chinese peach but they are now also grown in the United States in the states of Washington and California. They come in a wide variety of colors and flesh types. Instead of a spherical shape that resembles other types of peaches, Peento peaches are either flat or shaped similarly to doughnuts.
These peaches are a mix between the Freestone and Clingstone types of peaches and they boast two main advantages: they are extremely sweet and juicy and their flesh does not cling to the pit. They are a very tasty type of peach that is definitely worth trying.
White Flesh Peaches
As the name suggests, these peaches are a light yellow to white color in flesh and are a little less acidic than the Yellow Flesh peaches. The center that surrounds the pit is usually either pink or red and they are sweet but not very tart. Their peak season is May through August and they are grown mostly in Asia.
Yellow Flesh Peaches
With a taste that combines an acidic and sweet characteristic, these peaches are usually dark red in the center and have flesh that is either orange or yellow. They have a smooth but slightly tangy flavor and they are best when purchased from May through September. There are a lot of different varieties of the Yellow Flesh peaches and they are mostly grown in Europe and North America.
Types of Peaches Perfect for the Home Garden
Arctic Supreme Peaches
These peaches are large and have a red-and-cream color and white flesh. They have a great flavor and are considered a type of Clingstone peach.
August Pride Peaches
August Pride peaches have red-blushed skin and yellow flesh that tastes delicious. They are large and round and they are mostly grown in California.
With a small to medium size, these peaches are fuzz-free and have a tasty, white flesh that is both tangy and sweet.
Baby Crawford Peaches
These peaches are a golden-orange color and have yellow flesh that is extremely tasty.
With bright red-and-yellow skin, Cardinal peaches have firm yellow flesh and are harvested in early to mid-season.
Cherokee or White Blood Peaches are originally from China and are characterized by their dark red fuzzy skin. The flesh has red streaks running through it. Peaches are high in vitamins A and C, as well as potassium.
These sweet and juicy peaches are best when used in salads because they don’t hold up well when soft. They can also be used in jams and jellies, as well as baked goods such as cobblers and pies. Their diameter can reach 15 centimeters when mature, but most are around seven centimeters across.
Coconut Ice Peaches
Coconut Ice Peaches are a variety of peaches that originated in New Zealand in 1990. They got their name from the white flesh and the appearance of a coconut shell when cut open. The fruit matures mid-to-late season, so it can be harvested well after other varieties like Red Haven or Elberta. The medium-sized fruit is orange-yellow in color with smooth skin.
They have an excellent flavor that is sweet, rich, and creamy with hints of vanilla. The variety also has good disease resistance and resists cracking when ripe, which makes it a favorite among backyard growers.
Similar to Carolina Gold, these are a fantastic variety that is perfect for baking and jams. The peaches have a deep, rich yellow color and a sweet flavor that’s ideal for desserts. The flesh is firm and juicy, making these peaches easy to eat out of hand. This variety has less than one percent acidity, so they’re perfect for canning or freezing.
Contender Peaches are known for having large fruit that weighs up to one pound when mature. They produce a crop earlier than most other varieties on the market.
They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking recipes. They’re great in pies, cobblers and tarts.
With a medium to large size, Cresthaven peaches have firm yellow flesh and are very juicy. They also resist browning and can, therefore, stay around for a long time.
Early Amber Peaches
With dark red-and-yellow skin, these peaches have medium-firm flesh that is orangish-yellow in color and are mostly grown in Florida.
El Dorado Peaches
These peaches have yellow flesh that is very rich in taste and they are medium-sized but grow on trees categorized as dwarf trees.
Elberta peaches originated in Marshallville, Georgia, in 1870. The freestone peach has a juicy sweet flavor and firm flesh. It is named after Clara Elberta Rumph, the wife of the farmer that first grew it, Samuel H. Rumph.
The peaches have yellow or orange skin with a red blush on the sides, and yellowish-white flesh that’s very sweet, making them ideal for eating fresh, canning, or making into pies and cobblers.
The Forty-Niner peaches are quite large and have flesh with a very fine texture. They grow mostly in California and have yellow skin blushed with red.
These peaches bloom in mid to late season and have yellow flesh and a tangy flavor. They are medium-sized and have skin that is blushed with red.
Ghiaccio Ice Peaches
Ghiaccio are also known as Italian ice peaches and hothouse peaches. They are a clingstone variety, meaning the pit does not come away from the skin easily like freestone peaches. Ice peaches do not have fuzzy skin and taste a little like apricots. They are great as a topping for pies, tarts and ice cream.
Halloween peaches are large fruits and have yellow flesh and yellow skin blushed with red. As their name implies, they are normally ready to be harvested around Halloween time.
Honey Babe Peaches
These are rather small peaches with yellow flesh that is very sweet. They are ready to be harvested in mid-season and grow on trees considered to be dwarfs.
A freestone peach from Virginia, the Madison peach has orange-yellow flesh that gets red near the center where the pit is located. They are harvested late in the season and have a very rich flavor. They are also perfect for canning and for freezing.
These are very large fruits with yellow skin and white flesh. They are sweet and juicy with a touch of a honey taste and they are harvested in midseason.
These medium-sized peaches are red and white and have sweet, juicy white flesh. They are harvested in mid-season and grown mostly in Iowa.
Red Baron Peaches
Red Baron Peaches are a delicious peach variety with a red blush over a yellow background. They are very sweet and have rich, juicy flesh that makes them perfect for eating fresh or cooking.
They are also high in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. They’re great for snacking or adding to salads and desserts.
These tasty peaches ripen in mid-August and can be kept up until November when stored right. Store them at room temperature if you will be eating them within one week of purchase, or keep them in the refrigerator to store them longer.
Redhaven peaches are firm and juicy but not overly sweet. They have an excellent aroma and most people prefer them to other varieties for fresh eating. The fruit skin is red with some yellowish-green patches on the shoulders, and the flesh is white with a hint of pink coloration around the pit.
These are a freestone variety of peach that ripens in mid-August. They have a sweet flavor with just a hint of tanginess that makes them ideal for use in recipes for jams, jellies, pies, and other desserts. Redhaven peaches are also good for canning.
These peaches are yellow with a touch of dark red in them. They are a freestone variety from New Hampshire and they have a yellow flesh that tastes great.
Rio Grande Peaches
A freestone variety from Florida, the Rio Grande peach has a fine texture with yellow flesh and is perfect for eating fresh right out of your hand.
Snow Beauty Peaches
These peaches are very large and have red skin. Their flesh is white and many people consider them to be one of the tastiest peaches in existence.
Southern Sweet Peaches
With a red-and-yellow skin and medium size, these peaches hail from California and are extremely tasty.
Tropic Snow Peaches
These peaches are medium in size and have skin that is red in color. They have white flesh and are very tasty. They are harvested early in the season.
These peaches are small and oblong in shape. They are yellow in color with a wine-red blush and they have a slightly acidic flavor. They are mostly harvested in California.
Thomas Jefferson planted White Heath Cling Peaches in the south orchard of his farm at Monticello in 1813.
White Heath Cling Peaches
Thomas Jefferson once wrote to his granddaughter, “we abound in the luxury of the peach.” The third president of the United States loved peaches and planted 38 different cultivars in his gardens at Monticello. In 1813, he recorded planting “4. fine Heath peach stones,” in the south orchard. According to the Monticello Garden Explorer website, “He received them from Wilson Cary of Fluvanna County. Heath Cling is not only considered the first named American cultivar but was also the most highly acclaimed.” These medium- to large-sized peaches are a Clingstone variety. Harvested late in the season, they have a white flesh that is very juicy and red-and-white skin.
Best Types of Peaches for Various Recipes
The Best for Cobbler Pie – Yellow Peaches
Yellow Peaches are a perfect choice if you are hungry for a peach cobbler pie with a classic peach flavor. Yellow peaches are characterized as those with orange to red blushed skin, with a beautiful peach flesh that is golden yellow to an orange hue.
When choosing peaches for your next cobbler pie, it is best to select those with darker skin colors and flesh that has a bright orangish-yellow color. Yellow peaches, when buying for a cobbler pie, should be purchased at the peak of ripeness. The best way to tell these peaches are ripe enough is that they easily bruise when your finger presses against the peach lightly.
The Best for Canning – Red Globe Peaches
If you plan on canning peaches, the Red Globe Peach is a firm, round, and amazingly sweet type of freestone peach. Red Globe peaches, with their red skin and yellow flesh, are large fruit that is one of the best peach choices when canning, although they can be eaten raw or create a delicious frozen dessert.
When canning peaches, select those that are unblemished and firm. Because they are canned, it is best to choose a Red Globe Peach that is ever so slightly under-ripe. Peaches that are overly ripe have a reduced acid content, which is counter-productive to canning methodology. The peaches’ natural acidity is key to preserving their delectable taste, not the canning fluid.
The Best for Jam – Clingstone Peaches
If preserved peaches are in your cooking plans, clingstones will be an effective peach choice. Clingstone peaches are typically smaller than freestone varieties. As their name suggests, the pit inside this stone fruit clings to the flesh (compared to freestone types) and requires some effort to release the pit — completely worth the effort.
Clingstone peaches also tend to ripen more slowly, so the best choices may be available near the end of the peach season.
The peach flesh surrounding the pit in a clingstone variety can be bright red and yellow but softer, juicier, and sweeter than the freestone peaches. Clingstone peach varieties are the first to be harvested during the peach season, so check out farmer’s markets (early in the season) because grocery stores do not typically carry this variety.
The Best for Eating – White Peaches
White Peaches, available in both freestone and clingstone varieties, are less acidic than yellow peaches, although their flavor profiles are similar. The flesh of this peach is creamy and pale with a white/pink hue, and the skin has a pale yellow and orange color. White peaches tend to be best for eating because they are mild and extra sweet — with a mellow and smooth texture and taste.
In addition, white peaches tend to be less firm than their yellow peach counterparts, which is the underlying reason that white peaches are poor choices for baking purposes. However, note that white peaches are delicious when grilled and eaten warm or fresh off the peach tree.
The Best for Growing – Curlfree Peach Tree
Looking to grow your own peaches? The peach tree that provides the lowest maintenance is the Curlfree Peach Tree. Curlfree Peach Trees are self-pollinating. This variety is the result of decades of cultivation and development.
It has an impressive ability to withstand cold temperatures while also being pest and disease-resistant. The Curlfree Peach Tree is a great choice for those locations where insects or deer are problematic pests looking to feast on the fruit.
In addition, the fruit from the Curlfree Peach Tree is recognized to be among the tastiest. These peaches tend to offer a great flavor for many purposes — picked fresh directly from the tree.
Parts of a Peach
Frequently Asked Questions
When are peaches in season?
The peak season for peaches is usually between May and September. In some regions, the peach season may start as early as April and continue through October.
Where do peaches come from?
Peaches are native to China, but are now grown across the world. The first peach tree in the United States was planted in the 17th century.
How are peaches grown?
Peach fruit grows on perennial trees. It’s easiest to grow the fruit in warm climates with mild winters.
When to pick peaches?
A peach should be picked once it begins to ripen. Before picking a peach, check to make sure that there aren’t any green spots on the fruit. Most peaches will be ready to pick in August.
When are peaches ripe?
Ripe peaches usually have a sweet aroma. These peaches are also soft to the touch. If a peach feels hard, it still needs more time to ripen.
What to do with unripe peaches?
Unripe fruit can be pickled, preserved, poached, or cooked in other ways. Even if a hard peach is difficult to slice, it can be grated and used to make jam.
Can peaches ripen after picking?
Yes, a peach can still ripen once it’s been picked. Try placing unripe peaches on the counter in a paper bag. Within 24 hours, the peaches should start to soften.
What to do with overripe peaches?
Peaches that are overly ripe can be frozen, used in smoothies, or used to make jelly or jam. It’s best to freeze or use an overripe peach as soon as possible before the fruit begins to spoil.
How many peaches in a pound?
While the weight of a peach can vary, there will typically be around three to four medium-sized peaches in a pound. If you’re not sure how many peaches you should use in a recipe, try slicing the peaches. A pound will usually consist of around 2 and 3/4 cups of sliced peaches.
How many peaches in a cup?
Generally speaking, a cup of peaches will consist of one to two medium-sized sliced peaches. When you’re preparing a recipe that calls for peaches, it’s best to play it safe and buy more peaches than you think you need.
How many peaches for a pie?
Depending on the recipe and the size of the peaches, a peach pie recipe can include anywhere from six to 10 peaches. You can use, fresh, frozen, or canned peaches to make a peach pie.
How long do peaches last?
Fresh, ripe peaches can keep in the fridge for around three to five days. A peach won’t ripen any further once it’s refrigerated, so it’s best to keep unripe peaches on the counter until they’re ripe and ready to eat.
How long do canned peaches last?
As long as canned peaches are properly stored, they can keep for 18 to 24 months. Once you’ve opened the can, the peaches should last for around a week.
Do peaches go in the fridge?
Peaches will keep for longer when they’re refrigerated, but the cold temperatures also stall the fruit’s natural ripening process. It’s best to keep peaches stored at room temperature until they’re fully ripened, and then transfer them to the fridge once they’re ripe.
How long do peaches last in the fridge?
Peaches will generally keep for up to five days in the fridge. If peaches are stored in a crisper drawer, they may stay fresh for up to a week.
Can you freeze peaches?
You can freeze canned and whole peaches to keep them fresh for longer. It’s best to blanch and peel peaches before freezing. You can keep frozen peaches from turning brown by tossing peaches in a tablespoon of lemon juice before freezing.
Can you freeze peaches whole and with the skin on?
Whole peaches can be frozen even if they haven’t been peeled. However, it can be more difficult to work with an unpeeled peach once you take it out of the fridge.
Can you freeze peaches without blanching?
It’s not necessary to blanch peaches before freezing if the peaches haven’t been peeled. You can also skip blanching if you slice your peaches before you freeze them.
What to do with peaches?
Peaches are delicious when eaten alone, but they can also be used in a variety of dishes. You can use peaches to make pies, sangria, peach salsa, or even peach lemonade!
Are canned peaches good for you?
Canned peaches are soft, easy to digest, and an excellent source of nutrients. Peaches provide 15% of daily vitamin C and 6% of daily vitamin A needs.
Do peaches have fiber, vitamin C and/or potassium?
A medium peach contains around two grams of fiber. Peaches are also an excellent source of both vitamin C and potassium, with a cup of diced peach containing around 319 mg of potassium.
Are peaches a fruit?
Peaches are considered to be stone fruit. Other types of stone fruit include apricots, nectarines and plums.
Why are peaches fuzzy?
Peach skin is very tender, and the fuzz on that skin provides the fruit with some much-needed protection. Fuzz helps to protect the fruit from insects and environmental hazards, like heavy rainfall.
Are peaches and apricots the same?
Apricots and peaches may look similar, but both fruits have differences in size and flavor. Peaches are larger than apricots and tend to have a juicer and sweeter taste.
Does peach juice stain?
Peach juice is very pigmented and can cause staining. If a fabric is stained with peach juice, it’s best to use cold water to flush out the juice before applying a stain-remover.