From a glance, peaches might look similar to apples, but they taste different, if not better. They belong to the family Prunus and are related to cherries, apricots, almonds, and plums. These fruits are native to China but grow in many parts of the world.
In their native place, peaches are also considered the symbol of immortality and longevity. But putting their cultural aspect aside, how do peaches taste?
And do peaches taste good?
Peaches do taste good. They have a sweet, floral taste that can undoubtedly elevate your appetite.
Generally, ripe peaches will yield a sweet aroma that lets you know that they are ready to be plucked and consumed. On the other hand, unripe peaches don’t produce any smell, and they are usually less sweet or tasteless.
It is also important for you to know that different types of peaches offer different tastes.
For instance, white and doughnut peaches have a general, fruit-like, and aromatic taste, while nectarines produce a sweet, honey-like taste. Meanwhile, yellow peaches have a slightly acidic taste.
Do Peaches Taste Like Apples?
When comparing peaches to apples, there are a few key characteristics to consider.
Peaches and apples will taste similar from just a quick bite. If you have a refined palate, you will notice that apples have a hint of a sour taste compared to peaches.
These fruits might share the same round shape, but their texture is different. Peaches have a soft and fleshy texture, while apples have a hard and crunchy texture.
You can eat a peach like you would eat an apple. The only part you can’t consume is the hard pit at the center of the fruit.
Why Do Some Peaches Taste Bitter?
Sometimes, it can be frustrating to find some peaches you grow taste bitter. And you might be wondering, is this normal?
Do peaches taste bitter before they turn sweet? Or is there more to this situation than just a simple explanation?
Generally, peaches won’t taste bitter. Under certain circumstances, fruits can turn bitter.
Peach trees contain a bitter-tasting chemical (cucurbitacin) in their roots, stems, and leaves. When under stress, the tree produces more cucurbitacins which can end up in the fruit, making them taste bitter.
Peach trees produce bitter peaches when stressed or don’t receive enough water. High alkaline levels in the soil and extreme temperatures can also cause bitter fruits.
However, this issue is not a big deal. You can still take preventive measures to prevent the trees from producing bitter peaches in the future.
Preventative measures include planting them in the shade or a greenhouse with a stable temperature, mulching and maintaining the pH level in the soil, watering them regularly, and picking the fruits as soon as they are ripe.
10 Tastiest Types of Peaches
There are more than 2,000 types of peaches worldwide and around 300 varieties in the United States.
Choosing the best ones among so many varieties can be quite a daunting task.
But fret not. We have listed the ten tastiest types of peaches that you should try at least once in your lifetime.
Also known as cling-free peaches, these types are what clingstone peaches aren’t. In other words, their flesh doesn’t stick to the pit or endocarp.
To identify freestone peaches, you must cut the fruits in half, and you will instantly see that the flesh will easily come off the pit. These peaches are also larger than clingstone peaches and are best eaten fresh.
Typically, you can find freestone peaches in many groceries stores. The flesh of freestone peaches is usually yellow or white, and they can be used in cooking, canning, and even baking.
They are harvested from late May until October.
Doughnut peaches are also known as flat peaches, saucer peaches, and Saturn peaches. These fruits can be recognized by their slightly flat shape and red or yellow skins that are less fuzzy than most varieties.
When ripe, their white flesh is juicy, sweet, and flavorful. You can eat doughnut peaches raw or mix them with different dishes.
Doughnut peaches can also be processed into many commercial products, including canned fruits, jellies, syrup, and compotes, and blended thoroughly into smoothies and ingredients for desserts.
These medium- to large-sized peaches were first produced in 1964 in New Hampshire. They are one of the hardiest peach varieties that can withstand a cold environment.
‘Reliance’ peach trees usually grow between 12 to 20 feet tall. Under full sun and slightly acidic and well-drained soils, the trees can produce large, yellowish-red peaches with a mild but sweet taste. The flesh is juicy, soft, and yellow in color.
Being one of the freestone varieties, these peaches are easy to eat because you can quickly remove the pit from the flesh. You can also use these fruits for cooking, canning, and baking.
Nectarines aren’t like any other peaches. They can be distinguished easily by their non-fuzzy, smooth red skin.
These fruits generally taste sweeter than regular peaches.
Their flesh is firm and can come in shades of yellow, white, or red. They are also widely grown in warmer regions in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Nectarines are a great source of vitamins A, C, and potassium. Being a low-fat food, you can consume these peaches as a healthy snack.
These peaches can be used in cooking, baking, or mixed with salads and desserts.
‘El Dorado’ Peaches
These medium-sized peaches are produced by hardy dwarf trees in growing zones 5 through 9. They are freestone peaches that have fuzzy red skins and soft yellow flesh.
‘El Dorado’ peach trees can only grow up to five feet tall. However, they can still produce flavorful and sweet fruits under full sun and in well-drained soils.
Being a dwarf species, you can plant it in a pot around your house. The trees might take three to five years to produce fruits.
The trees generally bloom between mid-March and early April, and the fruits ripen between mid-June and early July.
‘Baby Crawford’ Peaches
‘Baby Crawford’ peaches were first discovered in the 1900s in the small city of Escalon, California. Then, they were reintroduced by the fruit expert Andy Mariani in the 1980s.
‘Baby Crawford’ peaches can be recognized by their small size, bright yellow and fuzzy skin, and freestone flesh. The trees generally grow between 14 to 16 feet tall and thrive under full sun.
Aside from producing rich and flavorful fruits, the trees can also be planted for ornamental purposes. They produce beautiful, fragrant pink flowers that attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
‘Rio Grande’ Peaches
‘Rio Grande’ peach trees flourish in warmer regions like Florida, California, and the southern or Gulf Coast states.
These medium to large-sized freestone peaches can be distinguished by the red blush on their yellow skin and firm but juicy yellow flesh.
The trees generally grow between 15 and 30 feet tall, with a spread between 20 and 25 feet wide. During the blooming season, white or pink fragrant flowers attract pollinators.
Although they are considered a hardy variety, ‘Rio Grande’ peach trees require a lot of maintenance, such as pruning, watering, and frequent exposure to full sun to promote healthy growth.
These medium-sized freestone peaches are one of the most adaptable varieties you can find. Unlike most varieties, they thrive in colder regions like the central Midwest, West, Northeast, and Southeast.
‘Madison’ peaches have bright red fuzzy skin with juicy and firm yellow flesh.
The trees are considered semi-dwarf variety and could grow up to 15 inches tall. They are also known to be self-fertile and don’t require the aid of any pollinators.
These peaches can be eaten raw or used in cooking, baking, and turned into canned fruits.
‘Honey Babe’ Peaches
‘Honey Babe’ peaches are categorized as a dwarf or miniature variety that can only grow up to five or six feet tall. These peaches can be recognized by the red blush on their fuzzy yellow skin and sweet, juicy, orange flesh.
Although they don’t grow as tall as other varieties, these peach trees can produce medium to large-sized freestone peaches.
‘Honey Babe’ is a hardy breed that thrives under full sun and in slightly acidic, well-drained soils.
Being self-fertile, these trees don’t require pollinators. However, they are best planted near nectarines and other types of peaches to produce better fruits from cross-pollination.
These peaches are delicious enough to be consumed raw. But they can be used in cooking, baking, and preserve for canned fruits.
Also known as common peaches, these fruits were first developed by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station in South Haven before being introduced to the public in 1963.
They thrive in many regions of the central Midwest, West, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and the Great Lakes.
‘Cresthaven’ peaches can be recognized by their fuzzy, golden yellow skin with a red blush and juicy yellow flesh. The trees are pretty large and generally grow between 15 and 30 feet tall with the same spread.
Like most varieties, they thrive under full sun and in well-drained soils. However, they require a lot of pruning to promote better growth.
To eat these fruits, you must first remove hard, inedible pits. But that’s not a big deal because that will make it easier for you to enjoy their sweet and juicy flesh.
Aside from eating them raw, peaches can be eaten in many different ways and added to many foods.
For instance, you can find varieties of commercial products made from peaches, such as yogurts, sorbets, canned peaches, and even peach oil for beauty purposes.
And if cooking is your hobby, many recipes use peaches, including stewed peaches, sauteed peaches, easy peach cobbler, and many more.