Peaches are the ultimate summer treat! That bright flavor is so worth the sticky hands you’ll have. From sweet peach crisp to hearty peach chipotle ribs, peaches can add juicy sweetness to just about any meal.
On the flip side, though, it’s downright disappointing to bite into a bad peach. If you’ve ever had to toss a rock-hard peach into the garbage, you’ve made this mistake before—buying unripe peaches.
We’ve all been there. You see the display of peaches at the grocery store, and even though they feel a bit too firm, you give in to temptation and hope for the best. Perhaps you gave them a few days on the counter or kept them in a paper bag to help them ripen. The problem is that even though they might soften, you still won’t get the satisfaction of a perfectly ripe peach.
The Problem With Unripe Peaches
Unlike some other fruits, peaches do not continue to ripen once they’re picked from the tree. So, once an unripe peach has been picked and transported to a grocery store, it will never live up to your expectations. Picked peaches can soften over time, but they will not continue to produce sugar. The sticky natural sugar is the reason why fresh peaches make the best desserts. That unripe peach might also feel hard and stringy when you bite into it.
How to Pick a Good One
When shopping for peaches, it’s best to be a produce snob. First, check out the color: look for bright, vibrant fruits. Then gently feel the peach. If it feels hard like an apple, move on. The peach should feel slightly soft—and already smell amazing.
The best place to find ripe peaches is the farmers market. They most likely traveled a shorter distance and might’ve spent more time ripening on the tree.
When it comes to peaches, the good ones are worth the wait. Say no to unripe peaches and hold out for the real thing!