Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 31, 2012 09:53 AM

how to pick peaches?

Sometimes I get them they are sweet and delish. Should they be light orange, medium red or dark red?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. Isn't it a matter of whether they feel and smell ripe, rather than the colour?

      8 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        By "feel", I hope you don't mean you squeeze them as part of your assessment - Do NOT squeeze any peach you do not intend to buy! Whether it yields to your squeeze or not, you will bruise the fruit and ruin it for the next shopper.

        1. re: ricepad

          Of course, I give it a light squeeze. I give all fruit like that a light squeeze (peaches, apricots, melons, nectarines, etc). It's the only practical way of assessing which ones you want to buy (bearing in mind how soon you want to eat them) and which are never going to ripen properly in a month of Sundays. It's the reason I never buy those fruits that have been pre-packed by the supermarket - you just can't tell what they're like. Folk who buy them are just plain foolish.

          1. re: Harters

            I've had fantastic peaches that were an uappealing greenish colour and felt kind of 'hard'.
            I knew they'd taste great though, because they smelt great!
            For me, the test of any fruit is aroma.

            1. re: Harters

              I'll say it again: by squeezing them, you're bruising them. Peaches and nectarines (as with most other stone fruits) don't stand up to all that handling very well, and you're ruining them for somebody else. Instead of squeezing, here are a few tips that are less destructive (I should have included these with my earlier post, so my apologies): First, the color. Peaches should be, well, peach, with a rosy blush. Second, smell. They should smell like the perfect summer day. Lastly, appearance (not the same as color). Peaches should have a pronounced 'butt crack'. The peach's butt cheeks should both be fairly well developed, and equally so. If either butt cheek (or sometimes BOTH butt cheeks) is flat with no discernible cleft at the butt crack, it was picked too early and will never develop the flavors and sweetness you seek.

              1. re: ricepad

                Thanks for the advice - but like most people where I am, I won't be following it.

                  1. re: ricepad

                    While many peaches should be blush colored, there are types of peaches (and not just white ones) that don't ever get a blush. It really just depends on the variety. I bought a 1/4 bushel of a yellow variety of peach this summer that were totally yellow all over (directly from the farmers at a farm stand) in Stonewall, TX, and they were incredibly delicious. It is true that the shouldn't be green at all.

                    1. re: ricepad

                      I enjoyed this description so much I'm forwarding it onto friends going peach picking. butt crack, butt cheek...god love it.

              2. You may want to check out the book, How to Pick a Peach, by Russ Parsons. (It also tells you how to select other kinds of fruit.) As for peaches, Parsons said red color is a red herring. It is meaningless. What you want to look for is gold color. And definitely avoid green.

                I borrowed the book from the library some time ago and hated having to return it, as it's quite useful. I may buy a copy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bitchincook

                  Thank you. Going to try this picking gold ones.

                2. I thought you were asking about picking peaches, as in getting them off of a tree. :) My response was going to be that you lightly cup the peach, give it a slight turn--not even a quarter turn--and if it comes off it is ready. You should then eat it where you stand and enjoy the drip of juice down your chin, hand, forearm. Perfect summer treat.

                  From the grocery store, go by smell. And it seems to me different varieties have different gold/pink/orange/red balance so I'm not sure color is a good general rule of thumb.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: debbiel

                    Thanks to everyone for the replies. I forgot about this thread because of the one linked above. What should it smell like? Don't say 'a peach.' :)

                    1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

                      Well, hopefully it won't smell like something other than a peach. If it does, then don't buy it :-)

                      Seriously, though, if it's ripe, then it will smell. And it will smell nice. Erm, like a peach. If it doesnt smell, it's almost certainly not ripe.

                  2. color varies by species -- yellow peaches will be a different color than white peaches, which will be somewhat different than flat peaches.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Yes, and even within yellow peaches not all should be blush.