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What's the problem with Costco's peaches?

For the second year in a row, we have bought some amazing-smelling and looking peaches from Costco that simply refuse to soften up. Before last year, the peaches I would get from Costco were so delicious, I thought I was back in Italy. I have tried everything -- keeping them uncovered on the counter, covering them, and covering them with a banana inside. What's the story? Why don't these peaches ripen?

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  1. Not sure it's just Costco. I've had similar problems at several grocers over recent years to the point that I no longer buy any "fresh" peaches at grocery stores. Either they do not ripen or they are typically dry / mealy. I've occasionally been lucky to get a few decent ones, but for the most part, they've been uneatable.

    Only "fresh" peaches I get now are directly from a local orchard.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clams047

      I have bought from the local farmers market. Delicious but SO expensive. You can't beat a local orchard, though.

      I never buy from grocery stores now - many years of lessons learned.

    2. I've been buying CA peaches at Costco for at least the past 6 weeks, I buy them a bit on the hard side and they ripen up nicely, they last5 + days. There sweet and delicious! Do you set them in a sunny spot?

      1 Reply
      1. re: treb

        No, on the kitchen counter, where I always put fruit to ripen...

      2. I've never had a CA peach I've liked, here or there. Do they also sell East Coast ones? They're usually more reliable, in my experience.

        1 Reply
        1. re: buttertart

          Interesting, I love CA peaches but, not East Coast peaches. Costco does get East Coast Peaches later in the summer.

        2. My theory about this is that it has to do with the temperature at which the peaches are stored. I have had the same problem with all the peaches from a local grocer (Russo's, for folks in the Boston area) but no issue with the peaches from another local source (Wilson Farms).

          1 Reply
          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            I've found that you have to be careful with Russo's. The unripe don't ripen and there is usually a couple overriped/moldy peaches in the bin (could just be my luck). But when you can get a ripe peach/plum/apricot they are realy good.

          2. I have bought them for the past 3 weeks at the CA Costco. The peaches AND nectarines - and they have been wonderful.

            However, I understand your frustration as I believe there is a very small window in which they are good and then they are hard and do not ripen.

            I'm surprised that they smell great but don't ripen. Maybe try the brown paper bag method?

            1. The past few weeks we have had the most amazing nectarines from Costco ever. Even though they feel hard when your squeeze them, they are completely ripe and juicy once you bite/cut into them, and just soft enough.

              It's important to note that there are hundreds of different varieties of peaches/nectarines, just as there are with apples, but we just don't hear about them. On the Costco mini-crates, they actually note the variety so if there's one that you don't like, you can probably buy a different one next week. They all have different ripening dates and properties (i.e. freestone vs. cling) and can be really fantastic.

              3 Replies
              1. re: acgold7

                That's a good point about the peaches, I do track the variety of peach. Early in the season I was getting cling peach varieties, now the fee stones are in. Both have been excellent, very sweet and huge. The peach size this week were a 10 count for a 5 pound crate. Also, the cantelopes have been real sweet this year.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Got'm in So. NH. Just finished one!

              2. It's just so weird how these don't ripen! I cut one yesterday to see if I could add peaches to my cream fruit pie, and although the peach cut, it tasted cardboard like. Yuck.

                3 Replies
                  1. re: buttertart

                    It is, but my husband picked up a large container of the Black Velvet apricots today, and they make up for my disappointment. So incredibly juicy and sweet!

                1. What variety? I don't mean free stone vs cling stone.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Brown paper bag has always worked with peaches for me, I've never had a peach not ripen, I usually have an issue with them becoming too ripe.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bunson

                      If it is a bad batch no amount of brown paper bag will do. If they have taken so long to ripen no doubt they will be gritty and starchy, it really should not be difficult for a peach to ripen.

                    2. This past weekend my local Costco was sampling the peaches. Unfortunately they were unripe. Why they would serve rock hard flavoreless peaches I don't know.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: viperlush

                        Same reason that a lot of people think that an unripe, big, red Red Delicious from Washington is the acme of apples and a small, wrinkly Russet or a small, blotchy Cox's Orange Pippin is defective to the point of being dangerous- in the unlikely event that they should see one. A good facet through which to understand a great deal about North American Agribusiness.

                        As Bill and Walt said, the fault dear CHers, is not in our merchants but in ourselves; I have seen the enemy and it is us.

                      2. I got a flat yesterday and the peaches were great. Strongly scented, nice texture, sweet and nice softness. Of course they are not on par with the ones I got when we lived around the corner from an orchard, but those were a different strain and we bought them the day they were picked off the tree.

                        1. Peaches are not like widgets. All of this is meaningless unless you can identify the variety of the peach and whether you think that it is locally grown. It would help if you were to state your location. And this is just the beginning.

                          1. I have occasionally had that problem even with farmer's market peaches -- (I only buy peaches from those kind of sources).

                            If you want ideas about what to do with them, split them in half, add a bit of vanilla, and roast them. Or you can grill them and serve them with meat or fish.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: grubstreet

                              Farmers have been known to buy from wholesalers.
                              And to pick and sell green.They need something to sell, the picking work is spread out, nothing bad can happen to the fruit after sale as far as they are concerned. And some people even like the fruit that way. They like the taste and And it keeps well.

                            2. Costco fruits like melons, and pineapple are really good. I have bought cherries and peaches and they were awful. How local were those peaches? Maybe it was not the best time of year for them. You should have taken them back, am sure they were expensive.

                              1. I got a flat from Costco today and they were perfectly ripe! Ate like, 8 of them just today alone.