Five Different Kinds of Peaches and their Characteristics

11 May, 2022
a selection of peaches on a table, whole and sliced in half, in the summer sun

Clingstone vs freestone peaches

This popular stonefruit has a characteristic hard stone with a kernal at its centre.

When you slice into a peach and try to remove the stone, you might have noticed sometimes the fruit comes away from the stone easily, or conversely, not so easily. This is namely down to two different varieties of peaches, clingstone and freestone, each doing much as its name suggests.

Sweet and juicy clingstone peaches cling tightly to the fruit’s centre stone and are usually good for canning or desserts. Meanwhile, fresh freestone peaches are a natural choice for snacking as the fruit falls away more easily from the stone.

Yellow peaches

a whole and a half yellow peach sat side by side

The classic and most commonly found crowd-pleasing yellow peach has golden flesh and tends to me more acidic, with a tartness that mellows as the peach ripens and softens. 

While peaches do not contain a significant amount of any nutrient, they can be a useful source of vitamin C, as well as contributing to the recommended daily allowance of potassium, fibre, and iro,n reports medicalnewstoday.

What's more, peaches can add natural sweetness to desserts and treats in place of sugar.

White peaches

some white peaches in a small wicker bowl

White-fleshed peaches tend to have a paler or pinker skin with a distinctive white interior and a lower acidity, which generally makes them sweeter and more fragrant tasting than the more tart yellow peach.

Donut peaches

a small heap of colourful and ripe donut peaches on a wooden table

These distinctive looking peaches are flatter and, well, more donut shaped, with a fuzzy skin yellow and red skin and a pale white flesh. Donut peaches are freestone peaches, and are usually medium-to-small size and have a delicate, almost almond-like flavour.

Nectarines

a trio of colourful orange nectarines with one cut in half showing yellow flesh

Nectarines are the smooth-fleshed, fuzz-free stone-fruit cousin to the peach. They are yellow flesh peaches known for their sweet flavour and firmer flesh. They come in several cultivars, including the 'Nectar Babe,' 'Harko,' 'Arctic Rose,' and 'Panamint'.

They're great sliced and grilled, cooked into curries, chopped up in salads, or simply as a snack. They can have either clingstones or freestones.

Nectarines have similar nutrient profiles to peaches, in that they contain natural sugars, fibre, and several vitamins and minerals.

How to cook with peaches

Sweet and succulent peaches are a great fruit for eating whole or throwing into salads, smoothies desserts and jams. They can also be sautéed, stewed or baked into fruity tarts, classic peach melba desserts and more.

Take a look at some of our recipe ideas below.

By exploring the different varieties of peaches available out there you can always be sure you get the right peach for your taste and dish. 

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