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When to eat a peach

We were just given a gift of 12 large peaches. Gave 5 away to a neighbor. The 7 we kept all have spots that are soft and wrinkled--but the majority of each fruit is still quite firm. Not sure how long to wait to eat--and will the already-soft-and-wrinkled spots get rotten before the rest of the fruit is ready?

I'm afraid we don't eat a lot of fresh fruit because we always seem to have bad timing: either we try too soon or we wait too long. I'm afraid of doing the same thing with these peaches.

What would you do with them?

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  1. Why don't you try one and see for yourself? It's the only real way to tell.

    1. By the time they've got soft spots, they're usually RIPE. Eat those bad boys. If you have any doubt about the texture, just cook them up into a sauce for ice cream or pancakes or something.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Vetter

        Okay we tried one: guess it's ripe but not very juicy or sweet. Think I'll have to take your advice about making a sauce. Thanks!

      2. They will ripen after being picked just like tomatoes, so jsut bide your time.

        1. while reading ts elliot and listening to the allman brothers

          6 Replies
          1. re: thew

            ..as I walk along the beach, with my trousers rolled (apologies to J Alfred Prufrock)

            My husband claims he actually likes the wrinkly ones -- says they are sweeter. He cuts 'em up and puts them on his oatmeal. If they are good peaches, and they are ripe, you will need a big napkin because the juice will just drool down your chin. If you don't care to eat them like that, cut them up & put them on ice cream. If they are not so full of jiuce, slice them, sprinkle with a very little suger & let them sit in the fridge for a day. They will exhude their own juice & become somewhat syrupy. A jigger of Cointreau doesn't hurt.

            1. re: PattiCakes

              Your husband is right. I cut up a wrinkly one for yesterday's oatmeal and today's cold cereal. Fantastic!

              1. re: nofunlatte

                Oh yeah- if you can get them to wrinkle up without getting rotten or moldy spots you're in for a treat.

                1. re: EWSflash

                  All that moisture loss just concentrates the sugars. Good point about watching for rot, though. I do sometimes have to cut away a brown spot or two.

              2. re: PattiCakes

                Ah, wish I had tried your suggestion of the sprinkling of sugar... Last night I chopped them all up and stuck them in the freezer for making smoothies. As I was doing so, only one of them had any amount of sweetness and juiciness. Wondering if I should apologize to the neighbor because of their not-so-hotness--but as a native of the South, she probably had better ideas of what to do with them.

                1. re: PattiCakes

                  patticakes, your idea is spot on the money: ""If they are not so full of jiuce, slice them, sprinkle with a very little suger & let them sit in the fridge for a day. They will exhude their own juice & become somewhat syrupy. A jigger of Cointreau doesn't hurt."""

                  this works for strawberries that are on the verge of going bad, too (not that *that* EVER happens around here, of course. ahem!...>

              3. It's not true that they ripen off the tree. They just get softer. That's why it's almost impossible to get good peaches at the grocery store; cause if they waited until they were ripe to pick them, they'd be ruined in transport. The best you can do is add a little sugar. :-(

                (I was determined this year, and bought a flat off a fruitstand whose peaches were marked "must go quick" or something--rushed them home, parboiled, peeled, sliced, and put in freezer bags w/ a little splenda and ascorbic acid sort of per Alton Brown; really looking forward to having truly ripe peach slices this winter!)

                1. There's a farm area here in Spokane, WA that has U-pick peaches. Luckily the season has been fairly long this year so we've gotten a few batches. For whatever reason, the last batch had a lot of peach flavor, but were not very sweet. We used most of those for making peach milkshakes or in this easy cobbler.
                  I've done a little internet research on peaches ripening after they've been picked, and apparently they will get softer, but not sweeter. They acid levels get lower, which make them seem sweeter.


                  1. Slice the peaches, layer them on top of a buttered tortilla, sprinkle w/ cinnamon & bake on a cookie sheet for 20 min @375 deg. So easy, healthy & tasty.

                    1. ...when it's Cal Red peaches from Frog Hollow Farms.