Look for peaches that show a background of color- yellow or creamy with a rosy blush on the cheeks. Avoid peaches with green undertones. That means they were picked too early. Peaches should be smooth, unwrinkled skin and no blemishes or bruises. Look out for peaches with tan circles, an early sign of decay.
Choose peaches that give slightly at the seam when pressed with your thumb, even though the rest of the peach is firm. Sniff the stem end of the peach. You should be able to smell the peachy fragrance.
Leave peaches at room temperature a day or two to soften. Then store ripe peaches in the refrigerator. They will keep for 3 to 5 days.
You may have noticed that peaches in the store are not fuzzy. There are no fuzzless varieties. Most people do not like fuzz, so commercial growers mechanically brush peaches after harvest to remove the fuzz. You will still find fuzzy peaches at farmers’ markets, orchards and roadside stands.
To skin peaches: cut an X on the blossom end with a sharp knife. Place them in a pot of boiling water for about a minute and cool them in ice water for about the same length of time. Then pull the skin off with your fingertips or use a paring knife. Peeled peaches will quickly turn brown, so coat them with lemon juice or orange juice to maintain the bright color.
Serves: Makes about 12 servings.
1½ cups ripe peaches, diced (4-6 depending on size)
1 cup tomato, diced (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon jalapeño, finely minced (about ½)
¼ cup yellow pepper, small dice (substitute red or green pepper if you’d like)
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
salt and pepper to taste
for spicier version add more jalapeño or cayenne powder or other ground pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together well. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Kathy Smith is a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Parker County. Contact her at (817) 598-6168 or email@example.com.