Home / Promptuary / Fruits / Peaches

Peaches

The Peach is a fuzzy fruit that has a sweet taste and is extremely popular around the world. Even though they are commercially classified as different products, peaches and nectarines are closely related, with only a single gene mutation differentiating the two. In fact, nectarines can grow on peach trees and vice versa. In Texas, peaches are the leading deciduous fruit crop gown with over a million trees planted all over the state. With the demand for this sweet fruit going up every year, the outlook for the Peach, for the lack of a better term, is peachy.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Genus: Prunus
  • Species: P. persica
  • Binomial name: Prunus persica

Peach Trivia

  • Early Romans called peaches as “Persian Apples,” naming them after the country that introduced peaches to them.
  • In America, the Peach is the third most popular fruit grown
  • The US provides a quarter of the world’s fresh peach supply
  • China is the world’s largest peach producer, both fresh and canned peaches

Peach Buying Guide

You can gauge the ripeness of peaches by squeezing the whole fruit with your hand. Here are some guidelines on how to determine the ripeness of a peach by feel:

  • Hard like a baseball/rock: Totally unripe, there is a chance that they will never ripen properly, avoid purchasing.
  • Firm like a tennis ball: These are fine if you don’t plan to eat the peaches right away. They will fully ripen in a week or so. Think of this as an advance purchase.
  • Has a “give” or springy quality: These are ready to eat, but could be better in a couple of days.
  • Soft/Bruises when you squeeze: These are ready to eat immediately. If you need the peaches within the day, look for these types of peaches.
  • Super soft/already bruised: These are already overripe, if you like the taste of overripe peaches, then this is still fine, but we would advise to avoid them.

Another criterion to consider when you are purchasing peaches is the smell of the fruit. The fruit should smell like it tastes. To put it simply, if the Peach has no scent, then it will have virtually no taste. Choose very fragrant peaches as they will taste as good as they smell.

If you cannot perform the two tests, avoid peaches that are visually wrinkled and bruised. This could mean a lot of things like it being overripe or being left out too long and has dried out.

Tip: Multiple farms all over Texas offer “Pick your own” peaches. Tree-ripened peaches taste way better than commercially grown peaches!

Peach Production & Farming in Texas

With over a million peach trees planted in Texas, almost half of them are small growers located close to metropolitan areas that supply directly to local markets and farmers’ markets. This is a good sign for those that are looking for tree-ripened fruits and to those that are looking for organic peaches. The only thing that’s stopping the peach industry in Texas from growing is the risk of late spring frosts.

The late spring frosts of Texas have affected the peach industry, which has led to an increase in price for most growers. Peach growers have already factored in these losses, expecting to lose whole crops of peaches every few years. It is this factor that has peach growers wary of expanding too fast and increasing production.

Pesticides:

The USDA has found 62 different pesticide residues on peach samples from commercial peach growers. These residues range from known carcinogens, neurotoxins, to bee toxins.

The good news is that a lot of the independent growers that provide peaches to Texas are small growers that have organic farms. There’s a big chance that your local peaches are free of these residues. To be safe, always ask you grocer or your local farmers’ market for organic peaches.

Geography:

For long-term tree survival, well-drained soil is a must. For the soil profile, sandy-loam topsoil is recommended, and a well-drained red clay subsoil is essential. Both topsoil and subsoil must be relatively fertile with decent water-holding capacity.

The best soil pH for peach tree growing is a range from 6.0-7.0. They grow well in USDA hardiness zones 4-8, with zones 6-7 being the best zones to grow them.

Since Texas is a pretty large state with different climates/chilling hours in each area, it is best to consult your local nursery to find out which variant of Peach is best for your area.

Don’t worry too much though, extensive testing has been done on peach cultivars, and there are a lot of options out there that have already been proven to grow wherever in Texas you are located.

Packaging:

In commercial peach production, peaches are harvested once they start to turn ripe. Since they are climacteric, they can ripen after they are picked from the tree. Harvested peaches are then sent to a packinghouse where they are then washed on a conveyor belt and before being sorted by hand for size and quality. After being sorted, a wax coating (usually paraffin) is added to preserve the exterior of the peaches.

After being coated with wax, they are then packed into plastic clamshells, on to trays or on to bulk boxes before being shipped to supermarkets.

Organic and independently produced peaches, on the other hand, are ripened on the trees and then are picked and sent to the market on the same day. Some peach farms even allow you to go on the field and pick your own peaches.

Eating Peaches

Only wash peaches immediately before consuming them. Washing peaches in advance can introduce bacteria to the surface when moisture is trapped on the “fur” of the Peach.

Peaches can be eaten like apples, just take a bite into them. Just take care not to bite too deeply as you might bite into the rock-hard pit in the middle.

Some people don’t like the furry texture of the peach skin. Again, this can be treated like an apple. Take a paring knife and carefully peel the skin off the Peach before consuming. Another way to do this is to slice the peach in half, carefully cutting around the pit and then removing the pit from the flesh. The flesh can then be scooped out like any other fruit.

Storage:

For underripe peaches, store them at room temperature until they ripen. Do not store underripe peaches in the fridge, as this may affect their ability to ripen fully.

For fully ripe peaches, they can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for up to five days.

To freeze peaches, simply freeze them in a single layer before transferring them to a freezer-safe container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to one month.

Peaches can also be canned with a light or heavy syrup for long term storage.

Cooking:

Aside from eating them raw, peaches can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

They can be used as topping for other desserts, part of fruit or green salads, and they can be added to drinks like juices and smoothies (cocktails too!).

For heated applications, they can be stewed, roasted, grilled, or baked with a pastry.

The applications for peaches are almost endless.

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • Peaches are a low glycemic fruit. Meaning that people with diabetes can enjoy this fruit without worrying too much about their blood sugar levels spiking up.
      • While it has a low glycemic load and glycemic index, it is always helpful for people with diabetes to check on how they react to it.
    • Fiber
      • Peaches, as with most fruits, are excellent sources for fiber.
        • Fiber helps with bowel health and helps flush toxins and cholesterol from the body.
        • Having a fiber-rich diet can also keep you fuller longer and make you eat less in the long run.
      • Vitamins and minerals:
        • Peaches are rich in antioxidants.
          • Antioxidants destroy free radicals in your body and lower the oxidative stress on your body, improving overall health and well-being.
        • Peaches contain carotenoids.
          • Carotenoids can be synthesized by the body to produce Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for eye health and boosting your immune system.

When Are Peaches in Season in Texas?

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 68.3 3%
  • Carbs: 17.3g 6%
  • Sugar: 14.7g 0
  • Fiber: 2.6g 10%
  • Protein: 1.6g 3%
  • Fat: 0.4g 1%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 11.6mg 19%
  • Vitamin A 570IU 11%
  • Calcium 10.5mg 1%
  • Iron 0.4mg 2%
  • Potassium 333mg 10%
  • Vitamin E 1.3mg 6%
  • Vitamin K 4.6mcg 6%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 2%
  • Folate 7mcg 2%
  • Magnesium 15.7mg 4%
  • Phosphorus 35mg 4%
  • Manganese 0.1mg 5%
  • Zinc 0.3mg 2%

Seasonality

When are apples in season in Texas?

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Buy farmfresh Peaches from local family farms and ranches in texas

Check availability in your area

Free delivery available
Free pickup available