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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Peaches
    Choose fruits that give just slightly when pressed and have a mild fragrance; examine them closely for bruises or broken skin. A red blush is a sign of variety, not ripeness, but avoid specimens with any traces of green around the stem end, which indicates that they were picked too early and won’t ripen well. White peaches are lower in acidity, so they’re sweeter.

  • How to Store Peaches
    Even firm, unripe peaches are delicate, so handle them carefully to avoid bruising. Ripen hard fruits at room temperature, stem-side down, until the flesh feels soft when pressed and they begin to emit a subtle fragrance. Refrigerate peaches only after they’ve ripened, which can prolong freshness for up to 5 days.

    How to Prepare Peaches
    If baking, look for freestone peaches, whose pits are easier to remove. To slice, cut through to the pit all the way around the seam, twisting each half to dislodge the stone. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can prevent sliced fruit from browning. To remove the fuzzy skins before baking, submerge whole fruits in boiling water for 10 seconds, then slip off the skins.

  • How to Use Peaches
    Grilled or roasted peaches make an excellent accompaniment for pork, fish, and chicken.

    —Melinda Page

    Real Simple Peach Recipes:

    See all Peach recipes »

  • How To: Slice Peaches

    Leave the skin on sliced peaches to add both color and texture to recipes.

     

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what's in season

Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.

   
  • Watermelon
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  • Peaches
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  • Blueberries
  • Arugula
  • Sweet corn
  • Fiddlehead Ferns
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherries
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